Study supports the use of Baldrige Criteria for improving construction management of LEED projects

November 14, 2012

This study provides further evidence that that integrating quality tools and methods into green building creates greater leverage!  In this study they found specifically that using the Baldrige Criteria helped to manage the LEED projects better. The National Housing Quality Award (NHQA) is aligned with the Baldrige Criteria.

Traditional management systems sometimes struggle to meet the unique demands of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects. Consequently, contractors have to modify their management practices. 

A recent paper (Andrea Ofori-Boadu, De-Graft Owusu-Manu, David Edwards, Gary Holt, (2012) "Exploration of management practices for LEED projects: Lessons from successful green building contractors", Structural Survey, Vol. 30 Iss: 2, pp.145 - 162) explored the management practices necessary to achieve successful implementation of LEED projects. 

LEED project management practices implemented by six US contractors from the Top 100 Green Contractors (list published by the Engineering News and Record) were analysed using structured case study interviews. An additional case study probed management practices implemented on a LEED (GOLD) project. The findings support the implementation of management practices classified using the six Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria of leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, measurement, analysis and knowledge management, workforce focus and operation focus. 

The qualitative study was based on a limited number of participant organizations. A subsequent quantitative study might provide generalizeable metrics for the green building industry. Further research on the cost effectiveness of the identified management practices is recommended. This study provides an intuitive framework in the form of discourse on management practices to enhance the success of LEED projects. Contractors may consider the study's recommendations in order to increase their success on such projects. 

The need to harmonize management practices with sustainable development has sparked the interest of researchers and practitioners. The study should be of utility to LEED contractors, environmental agencies, governments, educators, and other relevant stakeholders.

Denis Leonard has a degree in construction engineering an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in quality management. Denis is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality, a Certified Quality Manager, Auditor, and Six Sigma Black Belt. He has been an Examiner for the Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners a Judge on the International Team Excellence Competition and a Lead Judge on the National Housing Quality Award. A former Professor of Quality at the University of Wisconsin, he has experience as a quality manager in the home building industry as well as construction engineer, site manager, and in training, auditing, and consulting with expertise in strategic and operational quality improvement initiatives. His work has achieved national quality, environmental, and safety management awards for clients. 

Denis is co-author of The Executive Guide to Understanding and Implementing the Baldrige Criteria: Improve Revenue and Create Organizational Excellence.


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