Section 4: LEED-Related Soft Costs
overall rating level that is targeted. These variables
soft costs for the two case study GSA projects. The
are addressed, to varying degrees, as part of this
resulting documents are included as Appendices G
and H of this report.
To understand the range of tasks and additional
Results of Survey and Interview Process
services associated with LEED projects, a survey
and interview was conducted with a group of
The survey and interview process confirmed that
architects, construction managers, and consultants
LEED soft costs will vary depending on the
who had recently completed (or were currently
structure of the design team, the types of tasks
involved in) GSA LEED projects. The interview,
being performed, the number of credits being
which occurred over a one-and-a-half-day period,
pursued, and other project variables. A number of
involved a detailed "credit-by-credit" review of
these issues are addressed in the following sections.
LEED-specific tasks. The participants were asked
Team Structure: Expert Consultant vs.
to comment on their efforts in previous or current
Experienced Design/Construction Team
LEED projects, and to assess the level of effort
they would expect in future LEED projects,
The interviews revealed that two significantly
specifically for the prototype GSA buildings
different approaches are being used to address
considered in this study.
LEED requirements in GSA projects: 1) an
"Expert Consultant" approach, where the design
Overall, the survey and interview process was used
team retains a specialized LEED/green building
to develop a set of parameters for approximating
consultant to manage LEED issues; and 2) an
LEED-specific soft costs. The following items were
"Experienced Design/Construction Team"
approach, in which all LEED tasks are performed
1. The approaches used by design teams to
by the core design and construction management
achieve LEED ratings, including the structure
teams, which have previous LEED experience. The
of the team and the assignment of LEED
key characteristics of these two approaches, as
defined for the study, are defined below.
2. A comprehensive listing of LEED-specific
Expert Consultant Approach
tasks, with differentiation between those tasks
The Expert Consultant approach is often used by
that would be performed within the design
design teams without significant LEED experience;
team's base fee, and those that would be
however, it is also used by design teams that seek
considered additional services. For the
innovative ideas and expert opinions related to
purposes of the interview, the group was told
high-performance buildings. In many cases, the
to assume that a LEED Silver rating was the
expert consultant is not only responsible for
base expectation, and that a construction cost
managing and tracking LEED issues, but is also
increase of approximately 2.5 percent would be
responsible for other specialized project tasks such
included in the project budgets.
as computer energy modeling, daylighting analysis,
3. An assessment of the level of difficulty and
or renewable energy systems design.
perceived professional risk associated with each
Key characteristics of this approach include the
4. Approximations of the time commitments and
The consultant serves as the "point person"
experience levels needed to perform the LEED
for coordinating LEED issues.
tasks that were specifically subject to additional
The consultant assists the design team in
organizing and facilitating an initial LEED
Using the above information, a series of tables and
charrette or goal setting session.
spreadsheets were developed to document the
LEED task assessments, and to formally estimate
GSA LEED COST STUDY