The Role of Electrical Contractors on LEED Projects
The green building movement is growing at a fast pace, and still more growth is expected in the years to come. In early 2009, there are more than 17,000 LEED® registered projects and over 1,700 certified projects in progress. This emerging market brings many challenges and opportunities, and educating all the stakeholders in the construction industry about the impact of LEED projects is a timely need.
This research examined the roles and responsibilities of electrical contractors on LEED projects. All the applicable LEED-NC credits were examined for relevance to electrical contractors’ work. The credits were grouped into two categories: Site Practices and Products. Site Practices includes one prerequisite (SSp1) and three credits (SSc5.1, MRc2, and EQc3). Products includes one prerequisite (EAp2) and ten credits (SSc4.3, SSc8, EAc1, EAc2, EAc5, EQc1, EQc4.1, EQc4.2, EQc6.1, and EQc8.1). In addition commissioning, which is regarded as a main area of interest for electrical contractors on LEED projects, was studied in detail as a value-added opportunity credit.
The research utilized the LEED-NC reference guide, other literature, and case studies to identify the role of electrical contractors on LEED projects. The case studies included interviews with industry professionals, site visits, and a review of project documents. Some of the visits and interviews were conducted early in the research to better understand the issues related to LEED and electrical contractors’ work. After the preliminary output of the research was produced, several case studies were utilized to verify and refine the research. The outcomes of this research will assist electrical contractors in becoming value-added partners on LEED projects.