Reader’s note:  This is my last post on the LEED certification challenge.  Thanks for staying with me.

I thought I would end my discussion of the Northland Pines High School LEED certification challenge with some constructive suggestions.  The LEED challenge issue is not going away anytime soon and clearly requires some fixes. 

1.  Appeals of LEED certification challenges most go to an independent body.  It is not appropriate for the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) or the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI)  to review and decide LEED certification challenges when these two parties are responsible for deciding certification initially.  There may also be constitutional authority issues if a party is forced to challenge a federal project’s LEED certification to the USGBC/GBCI. 

2.  The LEED Policy Manual absolutely must be incorporated into the LEED reference manuals.  This is a no-brainer. 

3.  Energy modeling is fuzzy math.  LEED certification for new construction must be tied to actual energy usage as quickly as possible.  I realize it takes years to change the LEED rating system, but the next version that comes out should include a re-certification requirement based on actual energy use. 

4.  Standing and timeliness requirements must be created for the LEED challenge process.  Otherwise, the USGBC/GBCI will be overwhelmed with challenges. 

5.  Most importantly, if you are a contractor, architect or engineer, you absolutely must consider the implications and liabilities created by the LEED certification challenge process.  If you guarantee some level of certification, you may be responsible if a subsequent LEED challenge proves successful.  Will you be responsible to defend against the challenge? 

Do you have any more thoughts on the LEED challenge process?  How do we fix it?