With the launch of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED ®) rating system, new building construction in the United States has rapidly begun adopting this guide as the standard for sustainable building. The rating system profoundly alters the design and operation of buildings, however, to date, little has been documented on the cumulative effects of the rating system across different phases of the project lifecycle: planning, architecture/design, engineering, construction and operational facility management (AEC+P+F). Further, the ability to gain efficiencies in the building phase itself is still unknown. Implications of the delivery system in LEED ® attainment also have not been clearly associated with the level of AEC+P+F integration. To pursue this goal, project participants are becoming involved earlier in the process; information exchanges take place throughout the project lifecycle; and the results of those frequent exchanges impact the value to the owner through focus on attainment of a particular green rating score. These features are configuring a framework for green project delivery. This framework approaches lean thinking by generating value to the owner, improving the flow of information, and transforming the inputs required for the selection of materials and systems, to outputs in the form of a sustainability rating certification.
This research focuses on exploring associations between LEED ® criteria, project lifecycle, the stakeholders’ interests, lean process improvements and typical delivery systems used in building construction. The paper proposes a matrix of weighted indexes to explain and provide increased collaboration among project participants, improved efficiency throughout the project lifecycle, and new techniques which may be incorporated into the construction process.