NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Oakland, CA, United States, 2007/12/31 - GLA, a full service architecture and planning firm, expands its range of services by providing LEED administration and consulting services.
Gerard Lee Architects, a firm known for its sustainable or “green” design philosophy recently acted as LEED administrators on the 24,000sf retail development known as Plaza Los Olivos in the city of Fremont, California (Hereld & Ayres are the architects of record on this project). GLA was selected to review and provide an analysis of the project’s design as it related to the LEED certification process.
It is recommended that the LEED certification process to be initiated early in the design process for most projects. However the realities of real world project delivery sometimes results in the decision to initiate LEED certification well into the design process and sometimes prior to construction.
As experienced architects and with extensive familiarity with LEED (and the different LEED rating systems), GLA is frequently requested to evaluate design documents for LEED compliance. Part of their services includes identifying the correct LEED vehicle to certify the project (LEED has a number of vehicles for different building types and these include LEED NC for new construction, LEED CS for core and shell projects, LEED Retail, LEED for Schools etc).
With growing interest in sustainability and recent media coverage of global initiatives like the recent Bali Climate Change Conference, building owners have been requesting that their buildings be designed according to LEED certification criteria.
When GLA is selected as LEED administrators on a project, part of their services requires that they work collaboratively with the design team, owner and contractor to evaluate potential design and construction strategies that will help the project earn credits towards LEED certification.
In the case of projects late within the design process, a comprehensive review is carried out before generating a report on the current design, identifying credits that are achievable or within reach. However, mandatory credits and prerequisites are always identified and researched for their impact. Should it appear that these requirements would not be easily achieved with the present design, it could require major design changes and costs implications. The next step is to identify other potential credits that require minimal effort or costs. Depending on the LEED rating level desired other potential credits that can be achieved but with substantially more effort or costs are finally evaluated. It is important to balance first costs against long term operational savings with the realization that incorporating sustainability or “green design” at the onset of a project is far more cost effective than at the later stages.
Utilizing reports, design meetings, “green” design suggestions and other tools in its arsenal, the GLA team helps educate and inform the respective members of the project’s LEED potential. This helps provide the owner, design team and contractor an idea of how viable it is for the project to proceed with LEED certification at the stage it currently is in.
A project review for LEED is a far different process than carrying out a LEED based design on a project from the beginning. They require different processes and methods but are always tailored to the needs of the building owner.
GLA is currently the LEED administrators on the 42,000sf office development known as Deerfield One in Menlo Park, which is projected to be at LEED Silver.
Gerard Lee Architects is a sustainable design firm that champions “green” design through their mission statement, “Better Communities Through Sustainable Design.” The principal of GLA is LEED accredited, familiar with sustainable alternative construction and well versed in the LEED design and certification process. They are presently waiting for completion of a business practices assessment for Green Business Certification. The firm believes that sustainability should be implemented in house as well as in their building designs.