At some point in your illustrious career as a LEED AP a client is going to come to you asking what it will take to get his non-LEED-and-already-under-construction-project certified. You likely brought it up 6 months ago when this sort of thing would have been easy, but he just read an article in Fortune or BusinessWeek about how LEED certified projects have higher lease rates and any office building without a LEED stamp won't be considered "Class A" space in three or four years or something... In any case, it's your job to see if it's possible.The Real Life LEED Guide to Determining Certification Feasibility for Projects Under Construction
If anyone wants to join RealLifeLEED as a title and header editor please let me know. I'm obviously not very good.First things first... Check the Prereqs!
I suggest going in order of easiest to hardest things to do to get this done. Check with the contractor to make sure they're complying with the requirements of SSp1. Then start talking to your mechanical engineer. You'll need them to look at the refrigerants, IAQ, and energy performance of the building. Hopefully they'll be able to tell if you've exceeded ASHRAE 90.1 by 14% to meet the new prerequisite requiring at least two EAc1 Optimize Energy Performance credit without having to run through a costly ASHRAE 90.1 calculation. If you can't meet the prereqs you can go ahead an give up now.Second round: The Money
If it's looking like we'll meet the other prereq's I go ahead and get a rough estimate on the fees for a commissioning services if one isn't already on the project. Add that to the registration and certification fees, and any fees you (or other consultants) would charge for the additional service. It's typically a significant enough amount to get the owner to think about how much they want to do this.
Also make the client aware that this is likely to increase the amount of change orders from the contractor. He may need to now purchase things like bike racks, metal grates for the entrances, etc.Third round: Checklist Time
If you passed the first few tests it's time to pull out your trusty credit checklist and take a look at where you stand. A lot of easy points when designed from the beginning may have to be thrown out. If the contractor hasn't been worried about VOC levels, sourcing regionally, or diverting waste there are a lot of MR and EQ points that are a lost cause. If you're early in the construction schedule there may be opportunities to salvage some of these, but generally it's too late.
If you think you have enough to make at least a certified level start running through the paperwork and get on the contractor about collecting receipts, managing his waste stream, etc. Hopefully when everything's finished you end up with a plaque, but I'd be very clear to the client about how you can't guarantee anything rating wise.
Been through this before? Please share your experiences in the comments section.