The concept of climate change has brought to the fore the need for sustainable buildings, smart infrastructure and smart cities; it has also advocated for Lean construction technologies to reduce or eliminate waste during the construction process.
LEED was created to accomplish the following:
Define "green building" by establishing a common standard of measurement
Promote integrative, whole-building design practices
Recognize environmental leadership in the building industry
Stimulate green competition
Raise consumer awareness of green building benefits
Transform the building market
LEED helps to evaluate a building’s performance throughout the building’s life cycle. Though the primary focus of LEED is the reduction of the carbon footprint (GHG emissions and ODP ) in the built environment, there is usually a delicate balance sought between the initial capital cost and Life cycle cost of the development; which is usually measured in terms of the cost to the value that the investor gets. Quantity surveyors, by training and as the cost consultants in the construction industry, have a major role to play in the actualization of the LEED goals.
It is important for the QS in Nigeria to begin to look into these evolving ares of interest as more clients will request this as a minimum criteria for project participation. it begins with asking the question of what are the roles of Quantity Surveyors in LEED implementation and the level of awareness of additional competencies needed by QS in Nigeria to perform this role? What is the need, if any, for specialized training and certifications for QS to perform a role in a LEED project team or as a LEED project manager?
It is important to note that the IFC, a body of the World bank;
has embraced the sustainability concept in development and has gone ahead to establish a certification system called EDGE principally for the developing countries by removing some of the challenging requirements of the LEED system and concentrating on what looks like a minimum criteria but without loosing focus on the intent of environmental sustainability. By getting this certification, a developer has a premium advantage in attracting investment into their projects. The role of EDGE experts , auditors or Agent is open to all, particularly those with experience in the construction industry.
In the coming years, the need to diversify professional practice into the Green Building space will not only be a choice but will become the standard practice as more people become aware of the challenges faced by the world, and more importantly, the cost savings that can be gained from implementing green building policies through a building life cycle.