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By Elyse Umlauf-Garneau
As the sustainability movement gains traction, companies are emerging with creative services to assist people in boosting their buildings' energy efficiency.
One company, Atlanta-based Energy Ace, Inc. recently launched a new service --a LEED guarantee-- after observing greater demand for LEED certification and seeing clients struggle with the LEED certification process.
The professional engineering firm specializes in sustainability consulting, LEED services and building commissioning to help create and operate energy efficient and environmentally sustainable facilities.
It's believed that Energy Ace is the first company out of the box to offer such a guarantee. The company's founder, Wayne Robertson, has 25-plus years of engineering experience and has been watching the LEED program evolve and also has seen a need for building teams to reduce their risk.
"The catapult for the guarantee was the government mandates that started happening to create LEED-certified buildings and the risks owners were taking on to develop such projects," comments Kristy Koger, Energy Ace's business development officer. "We saw a need to give owners piece of mind by guaranteeing that projects are a success," she adds.
Energy Ace partners with the building team, which agree to have the firm conduct LEED administration, energy modeling and fundamental commissioning. "We conduct an energy charette and determine how many points are doable and to see that we have the right team on board," she adds. Once the strategy and team are in place, the contract is amended to guarantee certification.
If Energy Ace falls short of its LEED certification promise, it refunds its LEED administration fees.
Though the firm specializes in commercial ground-up and renovation projects, Koger does see benefits for such a service for residential projects.
And such LEED knowledge can directly benefit REALTORS® who do commercial leasing or who consult with property owners on ways to make buildings more saleable through LEED-compliant renovations.
After all, when commercial brokers are showing space, they're the first point of contact with tenants looking for a sustainable building. "It's important for them to understand what LEED entails so they can meet clients' needs," adds Koger.