If you’re a contractor, or a construction manager, your job is to get a building built – safely, on time and on budget. But these days, you likely have an additional hard hat to wear – ensuring that the project achieves its LEED rating. That’s a big responsibility because without the proper documentation, valuable points are in jeopardy. You undoubtedly face pointed questions at least once a month at the project meetings, if not every week – where are we at with waste management, what’s our recycled percentage, do you have photos of erosion control? The pressure is on.
So how can you take the pressure off, or at least be confident that you have all the answers? At Quercus, we think it all comes down to being organized from the very start. Accepting that you will face a mountain of documentation is the first step, the next step is to implement a system that keeps it all organized regardless of how long it takes to get the project built. We have a few key recommendations which we hope makes your job easier.
1. Establish a file naming convention. Did we mention that all of the documents you collect have to be scanned as pdfs so they can be submitted for review online? Your electronic file is very important and by the time the project is completed, you may have scanned over 100 different documents – MSDS sheets, project data sheets, maps, etc. We like to start simple with a file for each credit (i.e., MR2, MR4…), and at least include the spec section and the product name. You may also choose to number the documents as they come in, as there are often more than one per spec section. Not only is it easy for you to look up data, it also makes it easy for the GBCI reviewer if you include the document number in the LEED template.
2. Maintain a comprehensive tracking sheet. A client may provide you with a required tracking sheet but if not, definitely make your own. The set up would include at least the product name, its LEED info (recycled content, regional data, VOCs) but for your purposes should also include the spec section and maybe even the sub you received it from, in case you have to go back for more information.
3. Maintain a photo log. Certain credits require photo documentation, including date stamps. By the end of the project you will have hundreds of photos, but only need to provide a representative sample spanning the duration of the project and demonstrating specific activities. Maintaining a comprehensive log – and updating it monthly – will save you a lot of time and effort when it comes time to submit.
We’ve been in your steel toes, collecting material data from subs who have never dealt with LEED before, and reporting to clients on a monthly basis. Let us know if we can help you set up your jobsite filing system – you’ll shine and complying with LEED will be just as routine as any other submittal.