By: Lane Kelman and Lori Wisniewski Azzara
In an effort to reduce exposure to diesel exhaust in and around construction areas, on January 18, 2013, the US Green Building Counsel announced a Clean Construction Pilot Credit that can count toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The Pilot Credit requires projects to develop and implement a plan to reduce emissions from non-road and on-road diesel fueled vehicles, construction equipment and temporary power generation used during construction. The program sets pollution and emission standards for vehicles and equipment, engine idling limitations, staging area location requirements and data reporting requirements for the specific equipment utilized on the project.
“Providing an opportunity to achieve credit toward LEED certification for use of clean diesel construction equipment during the construction phase makes perfect sense,” said Christopher Grundler, director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. “Application of the Clean Construction pilot credit will help protect the health of workers and neighboring residents by reducing exposure to higher concentrations of particulate matter from older diesel equipment.”
The EPA, through its National Clean Diesel Campaign, suggests the following to ensure the success of a project’s clean diesel policy:
- Include clean diesel specifications or performance standards in contract language;
- Emphasize the clean diesel policy during the bid process and throughout construction;
- Hold construction managers accountable for implementing the policy; and
- Fully educate all contractors on clean diesel requirements initially and throughout the duration of the project.
The Clean Construction Pilot Credit is part of the LEED Pilot Credit Library , which is a developmental tool designed to test new and revised LEED credit language, alternative compliance paths and new or innovative green building techniques and concepts. It establishes a forum for project teams to provide comments and feedback, which are then utilized by the USGBC to evolve and refine the pilot credits during the testing period. Those successful pilot credits have the potential to be standardized and ultimately incorporated into the LEED rating system and scorecard. Projects can pursue an unlimited number of pilot credits; however, the number of points awarded is limited by the number of innovation credits available (up to 5 for LEED 2009 projects).
Lane Kelman is a Partner at Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC. He represents developers, general contractors, construction managers and the different trades in complex matters ranging from bid protests, contract negotiations and claim prevention & management.
Lori Wisniewski Azzara is an Associate at Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC. Ms. Azzara practices in the areas of construction and commercial litigation and has experience in contract negotiation, claims for delay and inefficiency, mechanics’ liens, and all types of contractual disputes.