If a Request for Proposal (RFP) is the key to a successful LEED project, what happens when an RFP does not properly address LEED requirements? 

Last week, I was skimming my AGC Smartbrief (a great resource for construction news), when my LEEDigation radar went off:

"Texas military construction project goes 25% over budget"

While the story was not about litigation itself, the Texas military construction project is instructive as to the importance of the RFP process to manage LEED costs.   

The MySanAntonio.com article explains that the Army Corps of Engineers project ran substantially over budget

With less than a year left until its scheduled completion, the cost for the renovations and new construction at Brooke Army Medical Center has jumped more than 25 percent.

Randy Holman, program manager for the Army Corps of Engineers and spokesman for the Joint Program Management Office, said the budget for the BAMC renovations originally totaled $630 million but has been increased to $802 million.

You know what is coming next.  Among other reasons for the budget overrun, LEED was blamed as a culprit:

Holman added that many design changes were made for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver certification, which is a sustainable "green" building certification that the project hopes to achieve. Those changes included installing a glass wall instead of the outer brick facade that was planned.

There is no telling how much of the 25 budget overrun can be attributed to the LEED changes.  But the Brooke Army Medical Center is an extreme example of the importance of including green building and certification requirements in the initial RFP.

By the way, what do you think would have happened if the Corps of Engineers refused to pay the cost overruns associated with LEED certification?  

Photo credit: tychay