Liane Ware, Firma Design Group, November 15, 2016
How does a civil engineering LEED AP (with or without a specialty credential) benefit a project?
While their knowledge and input pertains to a handful of Sustainable Sites prerequisites and credits, civil engineers’ usual involvement in project certification is focused on storm water management. The new Sustainable Sites Credit for Rainwater Management allots different levels of development mitigation, but the credit requirements are no more unique than learning and applying local and regional requirements (such as those in California). Design teams rely on civil engineering professionals to keep up to date with the evolving stormwater management and mitigation measures required for project permitting. Now that it’s less common for civil engineers to work only locally, much of their due diligence effort is in determining stormwater regulations for each project and how they will apply in the design. Understanding the nuances of each different agency encompasses LEED as well, which is why a civil engineering LEED AP is more than qualified to efficiently address the different degrees of the Rainwater Management credit. The language of almost all agencies having jurisdiction is comparable with varying levels and applications, and LEED is keeping pace:
“’Rainwater’ is now seen as a resource that provides many environmental and economic benefits. Managing rainwater on site restores natural hydrologic conditions, reduces the possibility of flooding, and creates opportunities for onsite water reuse in applications like irrigation and landscape features.”
The right civil engineer on a design team can therefore bring his or her expertise to the table in arriving at a creative, integrated storm water management solution for both project permitting and LEED certification.