Leed Documentation Process: Implementation Barriers for School Projects
The Center for High Performance Learning Environments (CHPLE) at Virginia Tech aims to provide guidance on various issues associated with high performance learning environments, using information gained through the various studies undertaken at the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. One such study is presented in this thesis. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), an environmental rating system for buildings, introduced in 1998, is still in the process of development. The USGBC conducted research and introduced various LEED manuals for different building types. For each building type, in order to achieve environmental credits under LEED, evidence must be provided in terms of various documents. The process of collecting and submitting these documents is perceived to be difficult and this study tries to find the barriers to the documentation process as required during LEED certification. Currently, while documenting the credits under LEED, the design team must assume many important responsibilities. Hence this research sought participation from this group of professionals, who are proactive in promoting LEED and also have experience in school design. To understand the design professionals perception about LEED, a semi-structured interview method was adopted to obtain data for this study. Out of a total of 175 invitations, 15 agreed to participate. A questionnaire was developed and the participants were asked to respond. All interviews were recorded, providing the main source of data. IRB approval was obtained prior to the interviews and all the prescribed ethical concerns were addressed during the interviews. The responses to the questionnaire, were categorized as, 1.Barriers for documentation and2.Recommendations from participants for improving the LEED documentation process. The identified barriers were sequenced to understand the interrelationships between different barriers. The recommendations are interpretations and derivations of the participant recommendations. These recommendations could be adopted by the USGBC to improve the process of documentation in LEED. This study may also initiate other studies to help further understand the opinions of school authorities and other project members with respect to LEED documentation.