Thursday, July 5, 2007

Rater solution and Greenbush LEED® registration completion

Today a compromise was reached about the LEED® rater, who will verify that the house is built to the proper standards and will deliver this data to the LEED® provider.

I wanted to use someone local to the Greenbush project, but a LEED-trained rater is not available in the region (a common occurance in rural areas). Currently, there are only a few raters with LEED-H training (LEED has plans to add more eventually). The closest is located in the cities, which is 6.5 hours away from the project.

However, a local RESnet energy rater has been found, and the LEED provider has okayed her involvement for the energy portion of the Greenbush project. She will not be able to sign off on any other data besides the energy portion, nor will she be able to receive official LEED training through the project, but she will gain LEED experience. She can become properly LEED trained later if she decides to.

The LEED rater (the rater for the non-energy portion) has agreed to minimize our travel costs as much as possible. I had hoped to get a guarantee from him that he wouldn't need to visit the site and that all data verification could be done digitally. He promised to try, but he has never worked with us or with our builder before, so it is understandable that this may not happen. Thankfully the worst case scenario is if that this project incurs a lot of travel expenses, it would still pave the way for future LEED projects in the area to go entirely digital and diminish travel expenses altogether.*

The LEED rater also applauded the fact that the project involves the local Community Alliance (our builder is from the NWCAA), because then the builder will gain green building experience that can spread throughout the community. I am going to invite other Community Alliances to look at the project so they can benefit as well.

So today I mailed the check into our LEED provider to complete the registration process. Here we go!

*(This is a pilot and a great deal of flexibility has been given. This is not business as usual because we don't know what the limitations will be when the program launches completely in a couple of months. LEED expects to add more people to cover a larger portion of the country sometime in the future.)

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