MILWAUKEE - Johnson Controls Inc. has developed a software program intended to simplify green building certification. Leedspeed™, a Web-based software application hosted at, navigates the user through the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building rating system.

"This software program takes our best practices and helps facility owners assess multiple buildings, evaluate return on investment, manage green building projects, and prepare and submit the LEED certification application," said Paul von Paumgartten, director of energy and environmental affairs for building efficiency at Johnson Controls.

"The timing of Leedspeed is absolutely perfect. Not only are businesses starting to fully realize the power of green buildings and sustainability, but many federal, state, and local governments now require environmentally sensitive facilities," said von Paumgartten. "So far, more than 300 building owners have achieved LEED certification, and they're reaping benefits such as lower operating costs, better indoor air quality, increased employee productivity, and enhanced corporate or organizational image."

Leedspeed is divided into two sections: Assessment/ROI Planner and Project Management/Certification. The pricing is structured so building owners can buy the full package or a specific portion, and it can be purchased for single or multiple buildings.

In the Assessment/ROI Planner section, the Leedspeed software automatically scores a project against the most current LEED-NC (new construction) or LEED-EB (existing building) standards. It then ranks potential LEED credits so building owners can determine the best green features to help them maintain budgets and gain environmental and social returns. The software calculates potential saving streams based on an existing building's size and illustrates every credit's financial impact on both first costs and ongoing operations and maintenance.

The tool also creates a scope of work report, embedded with the LEED Reference Guide information for each credit. These guides provide an overview and points per credit, documentation requirements, summary of reference standard (where applicable), environmental importance, recommended design strategies and technologies, potential design synergies and trade-offs, economics (where available), calculation methods and formulas, resources and definitions, and case studies (where available).

In the Project Management/Certification section, Leedspeed provides project development and management functions by organizing tasks and responsibilities to properly manage workflow, maintains electronic work schedules for subcontractors, and archives building data. Finally, Leedspeed acts as an electronic repository of all the documentation needed to submit a LEED certification application using the required USGBC letter templates that can be loaded onto the tool.

"The flexibility we've built into the program makes it work for large or small projects because managers only pay for what they use. Even if they're not going for complete LEED certification, companies can just assess their buildings' sustainability. They also can also standardize specific green policies across their entire building stock to minimize the documentation requirements of LEED for each individual facility," von Paumgartten said.

Publication date: 11/28/2005