- Mark McDowell
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AIA Edges Closer to USGBC Standards for Green Buildings
It’s surprising that the AIA still does not endorse LEED standards for green buildings. There has been some progress in forming some kind of strategic alliance, but that is only in the area of advocacy, education and research. There is still nothing concrete. Nevertheless, the Architecture 2030 Bulletin and the AIA 2030 Commitment story are very interesting. The AIA website has many downloadable forms that comprise their own version of building performance measurement. It’s likely that the AIA will step up to form their own rating system to compete with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), which is a very lucrative non-profit organization that the government chose to use for their own needs to employ green strategies — and when the government chooses a program, everyone else follows.
I hope the AIA will offer an alternative form of measurement to the USGBC. The USGBC’s process requires too many consultants and specialty firms to work independently on hundreds of credit applications. Ideally, the architect and his/her engineering consultants should be able to perform all of the analysis as part of their basic services. As of now, we get huge additional fee requests for the architect/engineers to help fill out LEED forms, and separate fee requests for energy models, LEED consulting, and commissioning services. It costs more than $100,000 in miscellaneous fees just to fill out and upload credit point applications. Many think that $100,000 could be used to improve the building’s performance.