2013 | Impact of Charrettes and Their Characteristics on Achieved LEED Certification

Charrettes are collaborative, interdisciplinary workshops commonly used in the programming and or design phases of sustainable building projects and often utilized in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects. Charrettes are implemented to increase collaboration and communication across diverse building professionals and stakeholders. However, minimal empirical research documenting the outcomes or impact of charrette processes or identifying whether specific charrette characteristics or combinations of characteristics actually contribute to an overall increase of LEED points exists. The purpose of this research project was to research salient characteristics of charrette processes and to observe their impact on the LEED points achieved. Methodology included a focus group of nine building professionals and a survey of 66 building professionals who had participated in a LEED-certified project(s). Characteristics derived from the focus group discussion were used to develop the survey instrument. Implementing at least one charrette during a project was shown to increase the LEED points achieved by an average of seven points. Three charrette characteristics, however, were shown to reduce the magnitude of positive impact. Specific characteristics to avoid are (1) holding a charrette as a LEED strategy or LEED checklist meeting; (2) having a defined or structured agenda; and (3) having project goals already defined prior to the charrette(s) taking place. Overall, results suggest the charrette process has the potential to provide significant benefits, but to fully realize such a benefit, the charrette should not include factors that limit a group's ability to produce creative ideas, goals, and innovative solutions.

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IBE Citation:
Knox, M., Clevenger, C., Dunbar, B., and Leigh, K. (2014). Impact of Charrettes and Their Characteristics on Achieved LEED Certification. J. Archit. Eng., 20(3), 04013012. Retrieved from http://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/(ASCE)AE.1943-5568.0000144