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LEED 2009 Projects Getting Upgraded to New LEED Online

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced a New Year's gift for LEED 2009 project teams: an upgrade to the new LEED Online.
December 22, 2014

From Dec. 28, 2014 till Jan. 5, 2015 both LEED Online v3 (used by LEED 2009 projects) and the new LEED Online (used by LEED v4, Homes, and Campuses) will be down for maintenance.

Then, on Jan. 5, 2015, LEED 2009 projects using BD+C, ID+C and EB:O+M rating systems will be find themselves on the new LEED Online platform, and new LEED 2009 projects will register and use it going forward.

USGBC has more detail and is offering several Webex events to answer questions.

We discussed the changes with Taryn Holowka, senior vice president at USGBC for marketing, communications and advocacy.

Q&A with USGBC

LEEDuser: What is prompting this move?

Taryn Holowka, USGBC: From the very beginning, the new version of LEED Online was intended to accommodate all LEED projects (LEED 2009 and newer) and certification models. We also built it to be flexible enough to support any new LEED programs that are developed. USGBC has dedicated a significant amount of resources over the last 12 months to enhancing the LEED customer experience—from launching LEED Coach, revamping how we handle incoming customer service queries and dedicating ourselves to making things easier for and more accessible to the customer, this upgraded LEED Online platform falls right in line with these efforts.

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LEEDuser: As much as LEED 2009 teams don’t love LEED Online, they might be afraid that a change in the platform will result in lost data and general confusion. How are you ensuring that there won’t be problems? For example, how much testing has been done?

Taryn: The testing has been extensive. In fact, we’ve been testing, building and tweaking for over a year to ensure that we are delivering a complete and improved experience. For the last year, the new system has supported and collected feedback from Homes, campus and LEED v4 projects.

LEEDuser: Do you have a backup?

Taryn: The old information is not going away, we are simply updating the way team members interact with it.

LEEDuser: Is there any way to opt out of this change? Perhaps a project is getting ready to finalize their documentation and they’d rather not have to deal with a change.

Taryn: No, however projects should note that their forms and data will not change and in fact their documentation will be easier for the team to review before submission in the new platform. Additionally, submission and review timelines will not be effected. Those who have already submitted for review can still expect a response on their scheduled date.

LEEDuser: Are there any new technology (i.e. browser, operating system, etc.) requirements?

This version of LEED Online sees significant improvements in browser compatibility. We support all new versions of Internet Explorer (no more compatibility mode), Safari and Firefox. To help, there is a link on the login page (under the "log in" button) that says "check system requirements." This will run a check to make sure everything is compatible and let users know what (if anything) needs adjusting.

LEEDuser: The new LEED Online did not include task assignments like the old LEED Online does. Some projects really like this tool. Will they have it in the new platform?

Taryn: Based on feedback we’ve received from teams using the new platform over the last year, we’ve retained the credit assignment function in the new version of LEED Online as an optional feature. Project teams can assign specific credits to specific users. While the entire team will have full access to the project information by default, Project admins will have the ability to give specific team members read only access with write access only for those assigned to the credit. All team members, however will be able to see all areas of the project. In addition, we now have an activity log that lists who did what in the system. Early next year, we are going to enhance the team administration even further to allow project admins to have even finer control over their projects and team.

LEEDuser: Will this make it easier for projects to upgrade to v4?

Taryn: Yes, with the new flexibility, team structure and functionality, the transition for 2009 projects will be a smoother process using the new platform.

Your questions

What are your questions about the new LEED Online, and this upgrade? Are you looking forward to it? Please comment below.


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April 10, 2016 - 11:44 am

Hi! We have a new, central forum for keeping track of LEED Online issues and discussing updates. Please use this LEED Online forum to post and discuss these issues. Members can also read our status report on LEED Online there, and digests of recent USGBC updates.

March 20, 2015 - 1:03 pm

I need to update my forms on LEED online as most of them are v01 and have "BETA" listed at the bottom. I called USGBC and they told me to ask for the updates in the "Feedback" option which I did and submitted but nothing's changed. It's been 5 business days as of today. Can someone please help me?

March 20, 2015 - 3:48 pm

They may want you to request a form upgrade for each individual credit you mentioned. I am not sure if they can just do it in one fell swoop.

If you've already entered any information in the forms make sure you save it because it will get lost when they upgrade the forms!

You can get an idea of the forms that have had major upgrades here: http://www.usgbc.org/sampleforms

The MRc2 form change probably isn't a huge deal. You will want to use the Materials and Resources Calculator for MRc4,5,7 since that what the reviewers are familiar with these days. You can download that file here:


The IEQ forms have been improved so upgrading those should help you with your documentation. I think if you let them know the 3 things I mentioned above that might expedite the process a bit.

March 20, 2015 - 3:41 pm

The project was registered in May of 2009. And yes, the project has been submitted for preliminary design review. Will that affect the form update? I need to update the forms for my credits only (MRc2, MRc4, MRc5, MRc7, IEQ3.1, IEQ3.2, IEQ4.1, IEQ4.2, IEQ4.3, and IEQ4.4). All of them are unfortunately the older version... I think one was v02. I will try to do what you said in the feedback forum and see if that works. Thank you for your help.

March 20, 2015 - 3:33 pm

is that a super old project?

I usually have an easy time getting them to upgrade the forms. Please be aware that they aren't going to transfer your information to the new forms so you have to save any data already entered in LEED Online.

Have you submitted for preliminary design review yet?

I'd recommend stating in the feedback form
1) I saved my existing forms to my local disk and 2) I understand that all information from the forms will be lost and won't be transferred to the new forms. 3) please upgrade me to the latest form version

You are trying top upgrade every single form? I'm not sure how they would handle that. I have only upgraded individual forms when a better version came out for IEQp1 and WEp1.

March 9, 2015 - 2:56 pm

Our project was changed over to LOL v4 but there are no designations for Design vs Construction credits. Also, credits that we'd previously documented and marked "Ready for Review" have that pull down available, but the ones that remain to be documented only have "Attempted" and "Withdraw" which makes tracking a challenge, but also how do we let the GBCI reviewer know which credits are in fact Ready for Review? Do we "withdraw" those credits for the purpose of a Design Application in a split review? Couldn't find any help docs on this...

March 10, 2015 - 8:40 am

On the left side of the credit title should be a check mark in grey, click on it to make the credit Ready to Review

January 19, 2015 - 7:00 pm

I watched the webinar on how to use the new site on January 5, and I have been to the uploads page for the project in question but I can't remember how to upload docs and how to delete previously uploaded docs. All I can figure out is how to download and save docs.
Is the webinar posted anywhere or does anyone remember how to do this?

April 27, 2015 - 4:10 pm

I spent some time trying to figure out how to delete previously uploaded documents. If you are in the “Credits” view, then select the credit where you want to delete previous uploads. You will see an “uploads” button appear below the line for the credit/prereq. If you click this button, you should have a screen that shows the uploads and there should be a trash can to the left of each uploaded file. Clicking the trash can will delete the previous upload.

January 19, 2015 - 8:49 pm

yeah, I've had that issue before where it defaults to Acrobat then thinks I don't have reader installed and prompts me to download Adobe Reader. You might have to click around a lot to find where you can set the default PDF reader to Reader instead of Acrobat. Doing a quick search I could only find tips for earlier iterations of IE. http://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/display-pdf-browser-acrobat-xi.html

January 19, 2015 - 8:15 pm

Actually, I think I am having a platform problem, because when I go into a particular credit and hit "uploads" it either sends me to the "whole project" upload list or kicks me way back out to the "Projects" list.
I suspect that the problem lies with either my Explorer version or my Adobe version. I have IE10, Adobe Reader 11 and Adobe Acrobat 10. Wondering if Explorer is defaulting to Acrobat. Not sure how to fix it.

January 19, 2015 - 7:21 pm

Just click on the green "+ add file" button.

January 19, 2015 - 5:39 pm

It is wonderful that the new leedonline includes a feature that provides an update on new activities by various team members. However there is the dark hole of November and December (when I was away) when I can't check on recalcitrant team members and whether there was activity during that time. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Dude, where's the scorecard?

January 6, 2015 - 4:10 pm

When I try to open a credit form, I get an error message at the top of the pdf window: "This PDF document contains forms. The filing of form fields is not supported".
I'm having this problem in Firefox, but not IE. I am forced to open it as a stand-alone PDF (not embedded in LOL).
Are we supposed to enter changes in the form and then upload it?
I've never had this problem before. Is anyone else seeing this warning?

January 7, 2015 - 4:19 pm

OK. Just spent an hour with IT on this issue, and the credit templates (and any other fillable field pdfs) still do not work on Firefox. I have the latest Firefox and the latest Acrobat plug-in. One work-around that we finally found is this:
Download the "IE Tab 2" extension for Firefox (this uses the IE platform within Firefox browser).
In the IE Tab 2 Options dialog, click "General Settings" tab and check the box at the bottom next to "Run the plugin in the firefox.exe process".
Then click the "IE Compatability Mode" tab and select the one on the bottom of the list ("IE9 Forced Standards Mode"). Click "OK" and restart Firefox.
Then navigate to the new leedonline.com and activate IE Tab 2 by either right-clicking the tab and selecting "Switch rendering engine" or left-clicking the IE Tab2 icon on your toolbar if it appears there.
Hopefully this will help you if you are having the same problems that I had.

January 6, 2015 - 4:42 pm

Thanks you very much, Renee. Unfortunately that is exactly what I did, but to no avail.
It sounds like the problem is unique to me, not LEED Online.

January 6, 2015 - 4:20 pm

I had something similar happen to me in Firefox, the website wasn't liking my Adobe Reader plug-in, thought I needed to update it or something. I went into the Firefox Open Menu, made sure it was pointing to the right Adobe program, and then made it defaut to that particular plug-in and to NOT ask me permission to access it every time. The credit templates now open up in the website, rather than a separate document.

January 6, 2015 - 2:49 pm

In this updated format of LEED v3, can you access and upload information into Construction credits while a Design review is going on?

Maybe I never noticed or just misunderstood the old format of LEED v3 - I thought people were "shut out" of the project while a review was going on. It seems like you CAN access the Construction credits during a review now, but I am not positive nor do I want to mess anything up on a project that is mid-review.

January 5, 2015 - 2:09 pm

For v4 projects CM hours would automatically report, will this be the same for the new upgrade for v3? If yes, if a member isn't specifically assigned to a credit will it report the hour for them

January 8, 2015 - 11:12 am

Update: This question was somewhat answered in yesterdays webinar. Automatic reporting of CMP hours earned from working on a project is not currently available but will be in the future.

December 23, 2014 - 5:41 am

certified projects are still displayed and accessible at the new LEED Online?

January 5, 2015 - 4:42 pm

Mine are!

So far, I'm really liking the new LEED Online.

December 22, 2014 - 1:30 pm

And some of us may remember how Henry Gibson ended that observation.
Our entire office must have missed the announcement from USGBC. Or....was there one? I'd be interested in knowing. I am grateful to LEED User--always the go-to source for interpreting the vagaries of LEED and the less than optimal USGBC communication style. That said, this is indeed welcome news. The new version is MUCH simpler. However, with 60+ projects in our office, this entails an immediate notification to our clients as well as all project teams. Not a simple or quick task.

Two questions: What is the URL for the new LEED online platform? Second, where can we locate more information on LEED Coach?

Thank you, Tristan, as always, for being on top of things.

January 7, 2015 - 2:53 pm

Tip for those using Google Chrome: disable the Chrome Reader and enable Adobe ... http://blogs.adobe.com/vikrant/2010/12/use-adobe-plugins-to-view-pdfs-in...

December 22, 2014 - 4:11 pm

I think they might put the "new LEED Online" at the URL www.leedonline.com

When I go to the "new LEED Online" and click around it redirects me to www.leedonline.com

so I think after January 5th the "old LEED Online" will be nonexistent.

I look forward to being able to check LEED Online from my macbook which is considerably less heavy than my Dell laptop with old internet explorer :)

December 22, 2014 - 1:48 pm

Marian, here is the new LEED Online

There aren't a lot of specifics online about LEED Coach, but here's a place to start.