(go to previous page) (go to next page)
Another new agreement is a provision that the building-owner retains the building's energy- and water-use data for 20 years. The GBCI must be able to review this data at any time during this period. Also, if building ownership changes during the prescribed time, the building-owner must include this obligation into the terms of the sales contract, transferring the responsibility to the building's new owner.
Further complicating a developer's decision to pursue certification is the GBCI's ability to decertify a building if the owner or the delivery team fail to abide by the MPRs' terms.
Pros and cons
LEED certification often is used as a marketing tool for a project's development, and how it is leveraged can make the difference in whether these changes are perceived as negative or positive.
On the negative side, property-owners may want a long-term commitment of providing data to a third party. A developer interested in short-term property-ownership also may see the MPRs as too restrictive to the project's financing.
Mortgage brokers who intend to help clients use incentives tied to LEED certification as a part of a project's financing may now have to contend with the possibility of losing the certification. This could be a stumbling block in assembling the deal, particularly if the lender seeks some guarantee of all other financing components.
On a positive note, measuring and recording a building's actual energy and water use can be a tremendous benefit. Following the guidelines of the LEED credit for measurement and verification of a building's energy-consuming systems allows for a record the building's performance over time. If an owner sells the property, the future owner will know exactly how the building performed in the past. A developer may see the requirement to keep performance data as a check and balance for the property's designers and constructor.
Having a mechanism in place to measure energy use also allows a lender to verify that the equipment and systems are working properly over time, which provides some surety to the investment.
Mortgage brokers working to assemble financing may recognize a higher level of commitment from the developer based on the obligation to stay with the building and the certification program. If the team is committed to providing a building that performs to a certain level of efficiency, the lender can verify that it received what was originally promised.
* * *
The choice to certify a project using the USGBC's rating system is voluntary in most locations. The heightened importance of a green economy, green jobs and energy-efficiency in the U.S. has triggered a chain of events that may impact the development industry more than any other, however.
Regardless of whether a developer chooses to seek a third-party certification, building-code changes will affect development in many ways. These changes could further complicate the permitting process, add cost to the construction and slow the delivery of a project.
a 20-year veteran of the construction industry and noted expert on sustainability, is general manager of St. Louis-based Vertegy, a sustainable consultancy firm that launched in February 2005 following the success of the Alberici Corp. headquarters building. Vertegy provides clients with design, procurement and construction-consulting services for green and sustainable facilities. Reach Taylor at email@example.com.
Page: 1 2 Previous