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In our last article on project management, we called upon the famous words of Mike Tyson to discuss design team management and achieving your desired certification.
This time we’ll put our boxing analogies aside and instead focus on the insight and knowledge of the team behind IES TaP, our online project management system. They’ve come together to create these five tips for successful management of the LEED® certification process.
1) Plan to succeed
It is important that at the very beginning of the project, the certification goal is identified, measured and communicated effectively to the design team. As simple as this sounds, there is a lot of value in having conversations to make sure everyone is on the same page about the goal and how to get there (realistically).
In the planning stages, it is important to target credits and measure the likelihood of achieving the points within those credits. And yes, IES has a tool for that. IES TaP allows the user to simulate/test multiple scenarios and helps inform the right approach to take on the project to achieve the desired certification goal.
2) Closely monitor progress
It is essential to keep close track of your LEED projects at all times, watching for any issues that may cause a setback to your project achieving its certification goal. Unplanned hiccups hold projects back. Having an understanding of how these mid-project adjustments affect the projects as a whole can mean the difference between earning LEED Gold and Platinum status.
The visual dashboard incorporated in IES TaP allows you to see all of your current projects in one place and monitor their progress toward certification in real time. At the individual project level, you can also view the credit and documentation progress per section and monitor the progress of individual team member responsibilities.
3) Communication is key
The project team must communicate and collaborate well as they work toward achieving the project certification goal, ideally while being managed by an experienced LEED AP. It is important that the project team is clear on their individual responsibilities and the progress the project is making and have the ability to highlight where there may be input from other team members or the project LEED AP required.
IES TaP provides a breakdown of the individual documentation requirements and allows each requirement to be allocated to a team member. With automatic e-mail reminders for project team responsibilities, everyone on the team is kept aware of what is required of them in order to submit the project for certification on time, giving the project manager one less thing to think about. If someone on the project team is not pulling their weight, there is a helpful project notification that the project manager can send which contains all the pertinent information of the project status and team member responsibilities. Everyone knows who has to provide what and by when.
4) Know your credits
Make sure all team members have the relevant guidance from the USGBC on hand, filtered so that the relevant information is available for the credit being worked on.
IES TaP gives you access to the USGBC credit library at credit level, access to LEED Online forms and real-time synchronization with LEED Online. LEED APs can also supply specific guidance on the credit to assist team members through the public commenting system or create additional custom requirements and assign responsibilities as needed.
5) Work smarter, not harder
Make sure the engagement with LEED requirements is no more onerous for the project team than it needs to be. The benefit of using a tool like IES TaP is the ability to cut down the project management workload, helping the design team work in as smart a way as possible.
This article was originally published on the USGBC website.
2014 was an exciting year for IES TaP! A number of IES TaP managed projects were shortlisted for the 2014 BREEAM Awards, with one of them coming out on top to win the BREEAM Industrial Award: the inspirational Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery project managed by GWP. It was also the year we launched IES Tap for LEED v4, and a huge number of projects were successfully certified under the LEED and BREEAM rating systems.
This year we are very pleased to announce that three IES TaP managed projects have been shortlisted for the BREEAM Awards 2015. The shortlists for the BREEAM Awards 2015 are comprised of an extraordinary variety of inspirational buildings. Here’s a little bit about each of the IES TaP managed projects nominated…
Beatrice Tate School, Tower Hamlets, London
A Bouygues UK project, the Beatrice Tate School is a co-educational special school for pupils aged eleven to nineteen with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties. The school accommodates 75 pupils within a new facility across three floors on a constrained site in Mile End with a GIFA of 3004m² on a 4600m² site. The design for the new school provides a compact plan with a social hub at the heart of the new school. The school has been designed considering sustainability and environmental credentials from the outset by ensuring the building meets the stringent London Plan guidelines of a 40% reduction in CO2 over Building Regulations. The school has met the requirements for a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating narrowly missing out on an ‘Outstanding’ rating under the 2011 regulations.
University of Hertfordshire Phase 1 Student Accommodation Buildings
Another Bouygues UK project, this student accommodation scheme comprises 2,511 new student bedrooms in a variety of formats (studios, cluster flats and town houses, up to a maximum of six storeys) which will be built across three phases. In addition to the accommodation blocks, Phase 1 has an energy centre (which will provide CHP for the whole site) and a social Hub building, along with external sports pitches. The Scheme is set to be a market leader in sustainability representing an exciting first in its sector. The new buildings will achieve a ‘True’ Zero Carbon accreditation and meet BREEAM Outstanding requirements under the 2011 regulations.
Lees Medical Practice, Oldham
Lees Medical Practice is a new visionary and highly-sustainable 800sq m medical centre situated in Lees, Oldham. The building has been pre-assessed as achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating as well as receiving an impressive EPC ‘A’ Rating of 12. It utilises a series of innovative and sustainable solutions, which ensure a comfortable environment for patients and employees throughout the year without the need for air conditioning or traditional fossil-fuelled heating systems. The medical centre is designed and orientated to ensure maximum benefit from the 50kW solar panel array installed on the roof. This generates a significant proportion of the building’s power requirements and reduces the CO² emissions.
Online Tracker Systems
Online tracker systems such as IES TaP make it easier for construction professionals to incorporate environmental assessment methods such as LEED and BREEAM into their building projects. They equip users with a new and easier way of working that saves time, costs and increases productivity. I recently wrote article on the benefits of using project management systems as opposed to traditional methods, which you can read here.
The winners of the BREEAM Awards 2015 will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 3rd March at the London Marriott, Grosvenor Square. Good luck to all the nominees, and to all those who will be involved in the next ground breaking projects that will lead the way in this coming year.
For more information on IES TaP and to download a FREE Trial visit www.iestap.com.
If you’ve been following the IES TaP twitter feed you’ll have noticed we’ve been posting some of the BREEAM 2014 changes that will come into affect when the new scheme launches this week. Following the biggest consultation BRE have ever undertaken, the scheme has been tweaked based on substantial user feedback. Because of this research, I see 2014 as being a more natural evolution of the scheme, rather than the severe changeover that took place for 2011. Most changes shouldn’t affect assessors and design teams too much, but I’ll use this blog post to highlight one of the changes that I think is worth noting.
The biggest potential banana skin I can see with the new scheme is the way that evidence is conveyed. With BREEAM 2014, BRE do not specify the exact evidence anymore, instead making it more generic by specifying general evidence types. I can see that BRE are trying to make it easier for the design team to collate evidence for an assessment, by not having to create BREEAM specific evidence for each credit. In doing that, I think it may actually make it harder for the design team as it doesn’t spell out exactly what they need to provide, and for the assessor as they would need to determine which general evidence types apply to each credit. IESTaP was created to ensure the design team know exactly what evidence they need to provide and this continues with the introduction of the BREEAM 2014.
Take Wat 01 for instance; BRE specify that the design team provide ‘One or more of the appropriate evidence types listed in the BREEAM evidential requirements’. But what specific type of evidence would meet the requirements? This would be a bit general for my liking; I’d prefer something along the lines of ‘Potable water and sanitaryware specification including flows’ to explain to the design team member what is actually required. By doing so this will reduce the input from the assessor and unnecessary questions from the design team asking ‘What exactly do I need to provide’. And that’s why I think it will prove a lot more difficult to assess without products like IES TaP.
For the 2014 update, BRE are removing specific evidence, but with IES TaP the assessor still has the option to allocate the specific evidence to the design team to avoid confusion and ensure the team know exactly what needs to be provided. IES TaP includes a standard evidence template which highlights the specific evidence needed for each credit. Want to create your own template? That’s easy too. IES TaP has been designed to allow the assessor to create their own evidence template for any given project, allowing for fully customisable evidence according to your project.
Flexible evidence requirements have been added to IES TaP for BREEAM 2014, which will be launching this week. This new version of our project management system will support BREEAM 2014 New Construction and Simple Buildings, the new Shell only and Shell & core only options.
We’ve also created an interface with the 4Projects by Viewpoint® system. Where documentation already exists in 4Projects, the direct upload of information to IES TaP helps to reduce workload and uploading of evidence more than once.
Another useful new feature will be our new project BREEAM score card. Similar to our LEED® score card, it makes it quicker to undertake a pre assessment, providing quick and powerful access to the whole project in one page.
So BREEAM is changing and so is IES TaP. If you’re already an IES TaP user, we hope these updates free up more time for you and your team. And for those of you who have yet to try it out? Well head over to our website and sign up to a free webinar and get yourself a free trial.
Those are the words of former heavyweight champion of the world, Mike Tyson. I think Mike could have been reflecting on how planning gets you half way there, but it’s the ability to then manage and adapt your plan that ultimately determines success.
But then again; maybe he was just talking about punching people in the face.
Let’s take the boxing analogy further here. Say your building design team is your prize fighter and the coveted LEED certification is your World Champion title. You need to be able to manage the design team and keep it in the best shape, in order to pre-empt and react to any (metaphorical) “punches in the face.”
When Integrated Environmental Solutions Limited answered USGBC’s call for technology partners, we set out to create something that set up project teams to handle any bumps in the road they came across. Enter, IES TaP for LEED, this project management tool manages, streamlines and informs throughout the certification process, all the time keeping the focus on achieving that desired LEED rating.
Accountability + Communication
With IES TaP, responsibility is assigned to each individual documentation requirement, not just responsibility for the credit, along with a date required, giving a greater level of management and tracking of the documentation gathering process.
IES TaP also automatically sends email notifications when documentation is uploaded, or is overdue, and project update notifications throughout the project keep the whole team up-to-date with the current progress of the project and their remaining responsibilities. Project updates happen in real time in the IES TaP collaboration portal and can be viewed at any stage during the project, so the whole team can see exactly what documentation is outstanding instantly, and which credits have been documented, at any point in time.
In a nutshell, we take a lot of the pain out of project management by holding team members accountable for completing their assignments, reminding them to complete their documentation, reminding them of due dates and keeping track of what each team member has already completed.
IES TaP directly populates rating system documentation requirements from USGBC online credit library, and with seamless integration with LEED Online and LEED forms for V4 and 2009 projects, you can make sure the project you submit becomes a contender and project teams can ‘box clever’.