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Software Helps Green Builders Track LEED Projects

greenbuildingConstruction management software providers are now offering several types of web-based software packages that will help green building designers and contractors track their projects under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program more easily and help them navigate through the LEED process to achieve certification.

One example is BuildingGreen, a green building publisher and products cataloger, that recently launched an online software package to help designers certify green structures more quickly and efficiently, reports Earth2Tech.

Nadav Malin, BuildingGreen’s president told Earth2Tech that LEEDuser is a tool to guide designers through the tricky parts of the LEED process and help them achieve certification with less work and greater confidence of success.

The program, available now as a free beta version until October, offers guidance for the five recently launched LEED 2009 rating divisions: new construction, core & shell, schools, commercial interiors, and existing buildings, reports Earth2Tech.

Malin said in the article that the emphasis is on real-world problems for designers, and the company worked with consultants at YRG Sustainability and other experts to develop the content.

For each credit discussed, the program offers a listing of potential pitfalls and points to consider before pursuing the credit further, along with online calculators attached to many of the credits, a listing of further resources, and examples to draw from, reports Earth2Tech.

However, the program is limited in the number of credits. Malin said in the article that the company plans to add more credits in the future, and focused initially on the ones that LEED experts often cited as most difficult.

In some cases, traditional construction project management software has been revamped to help track LEED credits. Software Advice cites several examples in a recent article that shows how project management software, particularly web-based systems, can help by acting as a repository for the storage and retrieval of project documents to track LEED credits.

As an example, EADOC’s web-based system with LEED tracking functionality provides pages that include information on what materials were used, the project location and status of approval as well as attaches submittal and drawing documents. These files provide a paper trail for proof of compliance, said Software Advice.

Procore, a developer of web-based construction project management software, also provides LEED detail tracking pages that include a brief description of the credit and a table with the requirements. Users can upload related documents then log specific details in each column, said Software Advice.

Project managers can track credits on a per-project basis, and after selecting which LEED version the project is working toward (e.g. v2.1, v2.2 or v3), the software returns a dashboard view of all credits available, said Software Advice. In addition, submittals can be emailed, faxed or uploaded into the system, then attached to the credit, and users can generate PDFs to submit to the LEED-Online system.

The Planon Group, a provider of enterprise real estate and facilities management software, has introduced its latest Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) solution that builds on its mission to help companies reduce costs and improve environmental sustainability by smarter utilization of facilities and real estate assets, reports Trading Markets.

The latest version is aimed at helping companies reduce their energy footprint and energy consumption while delivering cost savings with a new Microsoft Outlook scheduling integration and enhanced space management capability.

Two key new features of the software include support for sustainable building rating systems, including LEED in the U.S. and BREEAM in Europe, and single point of control for monitoring managing and reporting energy usage of facility resources for more efficient operations and energy management.

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