As you may know, I am taking a class in LEED 2009, and am considering taking one of the exams. One of the questions that keeps plaguing me is why bother? The documentation process is incredibly detailed, the requirements are extensive and one has to hire a commissioning agent for some of the credits. I keep wondering how much expense is added when one tries to attain LEED certification and whether it's just an option for the elite.
This blog post speaks to that issue and actually spells out the numbers.
As the article states, "Doing the government documents alone cost $50,000." This does not make me happy. On the one hand, we are told that LEED certification is the goal. It is an achievement of which to be proud. It shows a dedication to preserving and improving our environment. However, a consultant and/or commissioning agent is usually required, and now further regulations have come into effect requiring reporting of water usage and energy performance for five years, with the ever-looming threat of de-certification.
With other certification processes out there, will LEED win out? Will people still bother becoming LEED accredited? What do all of you think? I predict that the market will start demanding more flexibility in LEED, or it will lose its hold on the market.