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LEED Project Management Software

Have you noticed that the LEED project management software field continues to thin out? Or maybe you haven't noticed, because you're not using it...
November 3, 2016

Back in 2009 and 2010, LEED professionals were getting busier and busier, but LEED Online, the official documentation platform, was not keeping pace. For a brief moment, LEED Automation appeared to be the answer, with a variety of companies putting forward software to streamline the process, reducing laborious documentation steps to a few clicks.

Today, the field has narrowed to a few platforms. Here are the ones we're aware of.

Do you use any of these tools? What do you like/dislike?

Some of the better-known tools that have fallen to the wayside include:

  • GreenGrade (shutting down in December 2016)
  • Green Wizard (declared bankruptcy in January 2016)
  • LoraxPRO
  • O+M Track

Prompted by the recent GreenGrade announcement, I asked around to see how people are handling this issue. Here's what I heard:

  • In general, it appears that professionals are much more concerned right now with where to find product data to support the Building Product Disclosure and Optimization credits in LEED v4. Here's our guidance on that: Product Libraries To Help You Achieve LEED v4 Material Credits.
  • A typical response was: "Over the years, we have been solicited by several vendors. Our opinion has always been that what they are offering is not so much better than basic LEED Online. We’re all struggling with providing more service at lower cost and the expectation that LEED is integrated into the design and this is something such providers fundamentally failed to understand [in their subscription structures]."
  • "I have never really seen the need for additional LEED project management software. To me, it’s just one more thing to pay for that would add cost to the project, and one more software platform and interface that project team members would have to learn. One of the past features I’ve seen on these software programs are the ability to track who has done what work and when, but the new LEED Online has a timestamp and project team member name now for each action taken, making that offering obsolete. Another benefit was a specialized communication portal where the project team could talk to each other about tasks in-process and work yet to be completed. Emails and phone calls have always seemed to work okay for me. Unless the software deconstructs your Revit model and does all the documentation for you, I couldn’t imagine ever being persuaded to make that investment."
  • "We have looked at some of the other dedicated platforms from time to time, but did not see any added value (and definitely didn't want to add another layer to LEED Online for our teams). We have been well served using our own internal management and LEED Online (and, of course, frequent visits LEEDuser)."

That last reference to LEEDuser was completely unsolicited! Here, we have always tried to offer a basic but powerful LEED knowledge resource that supports you in managing LEED projects in any way that works for you.

You rely on LEEDuser. Can we rely on you?

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What are your favorite tools for managing LEED projects? Is there anything on your wish list? Please comment below.

And to stay current with LEED Online, which you're almost certainly using to some extent, tune into our regularly updated guidance, which covers both what's working and what's not.


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November 18, 2016 - 2:51 pm

What an interesting article, Tristan. Thanks for mentioning iLiv!

As you said, we are first and foremost dedicated to process – the discovery, refinement, and realization of processes that improve human performance.
We do have LEED Coordinators who successfully run their projects from our platform, and we’ve actually just returned from our 12th Greenbuild (so we’re obviously committed to LEED and the goals and values of the USGBC).

But we go beyond just LEED. Here’s why:
In the same way that having a LEED process and a place to perform that LEED process saves time and money on LEED projects, you can get the same productivity boost by improving ANY of your company’s processes.

Our specialty is growing our clients’ profitability through planned and improved human interaction. Through a combination of software and services, we offer a proven method and well-designed machine for turning what you know how to do into a much more attractive bottom line.

November 3, 2016 - 8:30 pm

From my point of view, I would have liked to actually use one of these tools, but each time I asked for pricing, we couldn't even think of using it, they were too expensive. At least for international-based projects.

I agree with the quote on LEEDUser. This site really makes my day.

November 9, 2016 - 10:52 am

As founder of Green Badger, and a recovering LEED consultant and LEED Fellow, we looked for a tool that was actually collaborative, eliminated the ridiculous spreadsheets, and allowed for actual documentation to be created rather than just track tasks and to do's. As none of the offerings that were on the market did any of that, I launched Green Badger. It is geared specifically towards LEED construction - because that is the most fluid part of the process. Frankly, you could document design credits from 50% CDs - but then it turns into 1, 2, 3+ years of construction in an industry fraught with turnover while trying to track dozens if not hundreds of data points, products, reports and inspections.

After experiencing first hand the typical tools and challenges - spreadsheets that get lost in translation, teams that say they are doing documentation when none gets done, having to do anything in LEED Online besides hit submit (woe be the project teams I've spoken to that use LEED Online as an actual workflow tool on a day to day basis), we created a better solution - a cloud based, web and mobile platform that provides unlimited team collaboration, centralized data to prevent spreadsheets from disappearing, the ability to create real time IAQ and ESC reports, instant product verification for thousands of low-emitting products (and soon v4 products), and for those working on more than 1 project, a dashboard to view LEED credit compliance across multiple projects all in 1 spot (rather than sifting through 5 spreadsheets for each project).

If any of this saves you 1-2 hours of billable time a month, it pays for itself, and having worked on nearly 100 LEED projects personally, I can attest it saves way more than that. Cost is always a barrier when the only thing you compare it to is I'm not paying anything currently, just my time (which is not free). Just like you weren't "paying" to file your taxes when you kept a box of receipts and filled a 1040 out by hand, spending money on TurboTax ended up making sense. I can't comment on the other technologies mentioned, but for workflow solutions that actually automate/create documentation and provide real time verification, rather than just be a task management tool that operates nearly the same as LEED Online, there is value to be had.