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LEED Pilot Credits
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Process-Related Pilot Credits
Social equity within the project team

LEED CREDIT

Pilot-Credits IPpc90: Social equity within the project team 1 point

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Credit language

USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

Encourage any and all members of the project team to promote and further social equity by integrating strategies that address identified social and economic needs and disparities among those working on the project by:

  • Creating more equitable, healthier, and more supportive environments for construction workers during project construction through:
    • Ensuring fair and equitable pay and benefits for work performed
    • Promoting employable skill development
    • Promoting personal financial and health stability
  • Promoting corporate social responsibility at an organizational level by the firms of the project owner, financier, architects/engineers, contractors, product manufacturers, etc.

Requirements

This pilot credit addresses equity for people involved in the ownership, design, and construction of the project by achieving one of the following:

Option 1

Project demonstrates commitment to equity for construction workers through workforce pay and benefits by achieving both of the following:

  1. Paying worker wages and benefits that meet or exceed the prevailing wage determined by the Federal Davis-Bacon Act, or applicable State prevailing wage statutes, whichever is higher. For projects located outside the United States, prevailing wage is defined as the most commonly paid wage for each type of work in the project’s region (i.e. the mode average; it will vary based on job and region, and is generally substantially higher than a legal minimum wage). Statistics on average wages may be available from government labor agencies, labor organizations, or other sources.
  2. AND

  3. Participation in, or providing of, access to workforce development training through one or more of the following.
    1. Job-Related Skills training through on the job training in a Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program*
    2. Life-Skills training programs conducted on the construction site including such things as, GED test preparation, English as second language (ESL) courses, financial literacy, debt management, first-time home buying, or entrepreneurship training
    3. Financial assistance in the form of scholarships, stipends, or sponsorships for workers to attend life-skills training programs conducted off-site such as pre-apprenticeship training, English as a second language (ESL) courses, GED test preparation, financial literacy, debt management, first-time home buying, or entrepreneurship training
    4. USGBC-approved equivalent

OR

Option 2

Project team companies have demonstrated social responsibility on a company level by achieving certification, or developing a social responsibility report, based on the organizations below.

Portions of at least one member company of project team must achieve certification(s) or develop a report(s) in the following proportions:

  • Owner / Investors - 50% or more of the investors/owners (by dollar value of ownership)
  • OR

  • Developer - Managing 50% of the design and construction of the project (by dollar value as defined by a development services agreement)
  • OR

  • Design team - 20% or more of the design team (by dollar value of design contracts)
  • OR

  • Construction team - 20% of construction contracts (by dollar value)

Owners / Investors may include institutions (e.g. government agencies, universities, etc.) or private companies. In the case where the intended Owner does not own more than 50% of the project (e.g. in the case of investor-backed private real-estate development projects), companies investing in the project should be considered part of the “project team” for the purposes of this credit. Investment Funds, Real Estate Investment Trusts, and other investors may contribute to meeting the credit threshold based on their share of financial equity in the project and their completion of a certification or report.

Developer refers to the entity responsible for all design decisions and directing the project’s design and construction on behalf of the Owner.

Certifications/reporting must be publically accessible, be created within 2 years of submission, and must address the following issues at a minimum:

Human rights

  • No child / forced labor / bonded labor
  • Health and safety procedures and training
  • Right of freedom of association
  • Non-discrimination
  • Diversity and equal opportunity
  • Discipline / harassment and grievance procedures
  • Fair working hours and compensation
  • Anti-corruption and bribery

Community/Society impacts

  • Responsible investment
  • Training and education
  • Anti-collusive behavior
  • Supplier assessment
  • Community involvement

Frameworks to be utilized may be from one of the following two categories of organizations:

Category 2 Frameworks:
These frameworks address many of the social equity issues of this credit, but not all. A Checklist has been created, located in Resources, in which project teams must show where they address these other issues not found in these frameworks. The column in the template marked Other Tool should be utilized, as well as the Page Numbers column.

OR

Option 3

USGBC-approved equivalent / project-submitted Alternative Compliance Path (see below)

Submittals

General

Register for the pilot credit

Credits 83-103

Documentation/Submittals:

Option 1:
  • a. Provide a signed statement from the General Contractor / Construction Manager (as applicable) certifying that 60% or more of the construction value was performed by contractors paying worker wages and benefits that meet or exceed the prevailing wage determined by the Federal Davis-Bacon Act, or applicable State prevailing wage statutes.
  • b- 1.) Provide a signed statement and calculations from the General Contractor/ Construction Manager (as applicable) demonstrating that 15% or more of total project construction hours were performed by participants enrolled in registered apprenticeship programs.
  • b-2. Provide a signed statement and narrative from the General Contractor / Construction Manager (as applicable) describing the on-site training program. Include the contact information for the training provider including contact name, organization, email, phone, and website, number of sessions provided, and total attendance. Submit course schedule demonstrating one course per month for the duration of construction, at minimum.
  • b-3.) Provide copies of company policy/agreements demonstrating the dollar value and nature of the assistance available to employees, with a signed statement and calculations from the General Contractor / Construction Manager (as applicable) certifying that 60% or more of the construction value was performed by contractors providing financial assistance to employees to attend off-site training programs.
Option 2:
  • Provide a spreadsheet for the ownership or design or construction team structure listing all equity shareholders or design or construction contract holders and the percent of equity shares or total contract value held by each participant, including subconsultants and subcontractors down to 5% of contract or equity value. Identify the participants counting towards the 50% or 20% threshold, and provide a copy of the relevant certificate or report meeting the listed standards. See the example below for reporting the ownership structure and means of meeting credit requirements; similar tables can be used for the design or construction team.
  • Provide a signed letter from the CEO/organization official confirming all Human Rights and Community/Society impacts listed in this credit have been addressed. See template under Resources. Include a link to the publically-viewable report/documentation.
  • If using JUST or B Corp., submit confirmation that the label or certification has been achieved.
  • For all other certifications, complete the Checklist located in the Resources section of this pilot credit.
Option 3 (Alternative Compliance Path):

USGBC welcomes the idea of alternative strategies to those discussed in the credit language for this pilot credit; as a means to learn more about other possibilities towards meeting the intent of the credit, and in order to potentially incorporate good ideas into future pilot credits and/or standard LEED credits.

For an alternate strategy to be considered, it must relate to the issues of Human Rights and Community/Society Impacts listed above under Option 2. The following information must be included in the submission:

  1. Intent of the proposed strategy
    • How does it meet the intent and goals of this pilot credit? How does it address the social responsibility elements listed above?
  2. Requirements for compliance
    • What metric(s) are used to measure success? How is the level of effort or rigor equivalent to the existing options?
  3. Submittals – Documentation to demonstrate compliance
    • Alternative Compliance Path #1 for Option 1: State or local programs may be accepted that demonstrate compliance with the requirements of this option. In order to follow this compliance path, project teams must submit confirmation of their participation or the relevant certification from the program. Projects may only pursue state or local programs if they are located within the geographic region served by the program.
      • Projects located in the State of Texas (United States) may achieve certification through the Better Builder® Program (BBP), which establishes a set of standards to ensure good and safe working conditions and safeguard the livelihood of the local construction workforce. In the case of the BBP, project teams must submit the final certification confirmation letter received from the program.

      OR

    • Alternative Compliance Path #2 for Option 1: An additional alternative compliance path for projects within the United States is to submit documentation showing that employees are paid a living wage using the Glasmeier MIT Living Wage Calculator. Outside the U.S., applicants can show they are paying a living wage instead of prevailing wage:
      • For countries where it’s available, the Living Wage should be the one published by the Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC). If no Living Wage is published, applicants could estimate their own living wage per the GLWC methodology; also see the sample calculation and the technical users guide from the MIT Living Wage Calculator. The resulting living wage should reference the World Bank poverty threshold (i.e. 305% of the World Bank poverty line in the country).
      • If housing is provided as part of employment, it should be included per GLWC methodology, including meeting standards of decency for housing, being counted at cost with no profit, and capped at 30% of total compensation. Even when housing is included, workers should be paid enough to live freely in the area with their families. If incentive pay or overtime are included in wages, their inclusion should follow GLWC methodology.
      • Applicants should describe their methods for assurance that actual wages paid match the stated pay. For instance, describe the auditing processes for wages (ideally meeting SA-8000), or a collective bargaining agreement (if one is in place).
  4. OR

  5. Alternative Compliance Path for Option 2: An organization may achieve certification or develop a social responsibility report based on a CSR framework not yet listed in the pilot credit. Project teams must submit a completed Checklist and Signed Letter, verifying that all criteria are met and providing the name and website for the framework.
  6. Design approach or strategies - Provide a narrative description if not sufficiently addressed in the information listed above.
Survey Questions for Project Team:
  1. Where is your project located? Did location make a difference in compliance with the credit requirements?
  2. Did pursuing this credit generate debate, discussion or adoption of new practices intended to benefit social equity, or did standard practice (e.g. for government projects) allow your team to meet the requirements? Please provide detail.
  3. Did pursuing this credit influence selection of project team members? If so, how?
  4. Are there other issues related to social equity within the project team -- but not covered by the certifications listed -- that you think should be given credit in addition to the pathways included in this pilot version?
  5. Are the metrics and thresholds for achievement appropriate for the path pursued? If no, what would be a better metric, or threshold and why?
  6. Are the option paths equivalent? If no, please explain.
  7. Does this one credit adequately address issues of compensation and social equity in the project team? If no, please explain.
  8. Should the Option Paths remain in one credit, or split into multiple credits? If multiple credits are necessary, please explain.
*The following are links to Organizations/Standards discussed in this credit:

Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program
http://www.doleta.gov/OA/apprenticeship.cfm

Changes log
  • 12/13/2017
    made applicable to ID+C adaptations
    added developer to project team members
    added GRESB as a Category 1 Framework
    removed checklist requirement for B Corp.
    uploaded revised option 2 checklist
  • 1/30/2018
    ACP guidance added
  • 6/19/2018
    Additional ACP guidance added
  • 11/30/2018
    GRI Standards updated
See all forum discussions about this credit »

What does it cost?

Cost estimates for this credit

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Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

Documentation toolkit

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LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit is loaded with calculators to help assess credit compliance, tracking spreadsheets for materials, sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions, and examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects for you to check your work against. To get your plaque, start with the right toolkit.

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Independent Consultant

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USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

Encourage any and all members of the project team to promote and further social equity by integrating strategies that address identified social and economic needs and disparities among those working on the project by:

  • Creating more equitable, healthier, and more supportive environments for construction workers during project construction through:
    • Ensuring fair and equitable pay and benefits for work performed
    • Promoting employable skill development
    • Promoting personal financial and health stability
  • Promoting corporate social responsibility at an organizational level by the firms of the project owner, financier, architects/engineers, contractors, product manufacturers, etc.

Requirements

This pilot credit addresses equity for people involved in the ownership, design, and construction of the project by achieving one of the following:

Option 1

Project demonstrates commitment to equity for construction workers through workforce pay and benefits by achieving both of the following:

  1. Paying worker wages and benefits that meet or exceed the prevailing wage determined by the Federal Davis-Bacon Act, or applicable State prevailing wage statutes, whichever is higher. For projects located outside the United States, prevailing wage is defined as the most commonly paid wage for each type of work in the project’s region (i.e. the mode average; it will vary based on job and region, and is generally substantially higher than a legal minimum wage). Statistics on average wages may be available from government labor agencies, labor organizations, or other sources.
  2. AND

  3. Participation in, or providing of, access to workforce development training through one or more of the following.
    1. Job-Related Skills training through on the job training in a Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program*
    2. Life-Skills training programs conducted on the construction site including such things as, GED test preparation, English as second language (ESL) courses, financial literacy, debt management, first-time home buying, or entrepreneurship training
    3. Financial assistance in the form of scholarships, stipends, or sponsorships for workers to attend life-skills training programs conducted off-site such as pre-apprenticeship training, English as a second language (ESL) courses, GED test preparation, financial literacy, debt management, first-time home buying, or entrepreneurship training
    4. USGBC-approved equivalent

OR

Option 2

Project team companies have demonstrated social responsibility on a company level by achieving certification, or developing a social responsibility report, based on the organizations below.

Portions of at least one member company of project team must achieve certification(s) or develop a report(s) in the following proportions:

  • Owner / Investors - 50% or more of the investors/owners (by dollar value of ownership)
  • OR

  • Developer - Managing 50% of the design and construction of the project (by dollar value as defined by a development services agreement)
  • OR

  • Design team - 20% or more of the design team (by dollar value of design contracts)
  • OR

  • Construction team - 20% of construction contracts (by dollar value)

Owners / Investors may include institutions (e.g. government agencies, universities, etc.) or private companies. In the case where the intended Owner does not own more than 50% of the project (e.g. in the case of investor-backed private real-estate development projects), companies investing in the project should be considered part of the “project team” for the purposes of this credit. Investment Funds, Real Estate Investment Trusts, and other investors may contribute to meeting the credit threshold based on their share of financial equity in the project and their completion of a certification or report.

Developer refers to the entity responsible for all design decisions and directing the project’s design and construction on behalf of the Owner.

Certifications/reporting must be publically accessible, be created within 2 years of submission, and must address the following issues at a minimum:

Human rights

  • No child / forced labor / bonded labor
  • Health and safety procedures and training
  • Right of freedom of association
  • Non-discrimination
  • Diversity and equal opportunity
  • Discipline / harassment and grievance procedures
  • Fair working hours and compensation
  • Anti-corruption and bribery

Community/Society impacts

  • Responsible investment
  • Training and education
  • Anti-collusive behavior
  • Supplier assessment
  • Community involvement

Frameworks to be utilized may be from one of the following two categories of organizations:

Category 2 Frameworks:
These frameworks address many of the social equity issues of this credit, but not all. A Checklist has been created, located in Resources, in which project teams must show where they address these other issues not found in these frameworks. The column in the template marked Other Tool should be utilized, as well as the Page Numbers column.

OR

Option 3

USGBC-approved equivalent / project-submitted Alternative Compliance Path (see below)

Submittals

General

Register for the pilot credit

Credits 83-103

Documentation/Submittals:

Option 1:
  • a. Provide a signed statement from the General Contractor / Construction Manager (as applicable) certifying that 60% or more of the construction value was performed by contractors paying worker wages and benefits that meet or exceed the prevailing wage determined by the Federal Davis-Bacon Act, or applicable State prevailing wage statutes.
  • b- 1.) Provide a signed statement and calculations from the General Contractor/ Construction Manager (as applicable) demonstrating that 15% or more of total project construction hours were performed by participants enrolled in registered apprenticeship programs.
  • b-2. Provide a signed statement and narrative from the General Contractor / Construction Manager (as applicable) describing the on-site training program. Include the contact information for the training provider including contact name, organization, email, phone, and website, number of sessions provided, and total attendance. Submit course schedule demonstrating one course per month for the duration of construction, at minimum.
  • b-3.) Provide copies of company policy/agreements demonstrating the dollar value and nature of the assistance available to employees, with a signed statement and calculations from the General Contractor / Construction Manager (as applicable) certifying that 60% or more of the construction value was performed by contractors providing financial assistance to employees to attend off-site training programs.
Option 2:
  • Provide a spreadsheet for the ownership or design or construction team structure listing all equity shareholders or design or construction contract holders and the percent of equity shares or total contract value held by each participant, including subconsultants and subcontractors down to 5% of contract or equity value. Identify the participants counting towards the 50% or 20% threshold, and provide a copy of the relevant certificate or report meeting the listed standards. See the example below for reporting the ownership structure and means of meeting credit requirements; similar tables can be used for the design or construction team.
  • Provide a signed letter from the CEO/organization official confirming all Human Rights and Community/Society impacts listed in this credit have been addressed. See template under Resources. Include a link to the publically-viewable report/documentation.
  • If using JUST or B Corp., submit confirmation that the label or certification has been achieved.
  • For all other certifications, complete the Checklist located in the Resources section of this pilot credit.
Option 3 (Alternative Compliance Path):

USGBC welcomes the idea of alternative strategies to those discussed in the credit language for this pilot credit; as a means to learn more about other possibilities towards meeting the intent of the credit, and in order to potentially incorporate good ideas into future pilot credits and/or standard LEED credits.

For an alternate strategy to be considered, it must relate to the issues of Human Rights and Community/Society Impacts listed above under Option 2. The following information must be included in the submission:

  1. Intent of the proposed strategy
    • How does it meet the intent and goals of this pilot credit? How does it address the social responsibility elements listed above?
  2. Requirements for compliance
    • What metric(s) are used to measure success? How is the level of effort or rigor equivalent to the existing options?
  3. Submittals – Documentation to demonstrate compliance
    • Alternative Compliance Path #1 for Option 1: State or local programs may be accepted that demonstrate compliance with the requirements of this option. In order to follow this compliance path, project teams must submit confirmation of their participation or the relevant certification from the program. Projects may only pursue state or local programs if they are located within the geographic region served by the program.
      • Projects located in the State of Texas (United States) may achieve certification through the Better Builder® Program (BBP), which establishes a set of standards to ensure good and safe working conditions and safeguard the livelihood of the local construction workforce. In the case of the BBP, project teams must submit the final certification confirmation letter received from the program.

      OR

    • Alternative Compliance Path #2 for Option 1: An additional alternative compliance path for projects within the United States is to submit documentation showing that employees are paid a living wage using the Glasmeier MIT Living Wage Calculator. Outside the U.S., applicants can show they are paying a living wage instead of prevailing wage:
      • For countries where it’s available, the Living Wage should be the one published by the Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC). If no Living Wage is published, applicants could estimate their own living wage per the GLWC methodology; also see the sample calculation and the technical users guide from the MIT Living Wage Calculator. The resulting living wage should reference the World Bank poverty threshold (i.e. 305% of the World Bank poverty line in the country).
      • If housing is provided as part of employment, it should be included per GLWC methodology, including meeting standards of decency for housing, being counted at cost with no profit, and capped at 30% of total compensation. Even when housing is included, workers should be paid enough to live freely in the area with their families. If incentive pay or overtime are included in wages, their inclusion should follow GLWC methodology.
      • Applicants should describe their methods for assurance that actual wages paid match the stated pay. For instance, describe the auditing processes for wages (ideally meeting SA-8000), or a collective bargaining agreement (if one is in place).
  4. OR

  5. Alternative Compliance Path for Option 2: An organization may achieve certification or develop a social responsibility report based on a CSR framework not yet listed in the pilot credit. Project teams must submit a completed Checklist and Signed Letter, verifying that all criteria are met and providing the name and website for the framework.
  6. Design approach or strategies - Provide a narrative description if not sufficiently addressed in the information listed above.
Survey Questions for Project Team:
  1. Where is your project located? Did location make a difference in compliance with the credit requirements?
  2. Did pursuing this credit generate debate, discussion or adoption of new practices intended to benefit social equity, or did standard practice (e.g. for government projects) allow your team to meet the requirements? Please provide detail.
  3. Did pursuing this credit influence selection of project team members? If so, how?
  4. Are there other issues related to social equity within the project team -- but not covered by the certifications listed -- that you think should be given credit in addition to the pathways included in this pilot version?
  5. Are the metrics and thresholds for achievement appropriate for the path pursued? If no, what would be a better metric, or threshold and why?
  6. Are the option paths equivalent? If no, please explain.
  7. Does this one credit adequately address issues of compensation and social equity in the project team? If no, please explain.
  8. Should the Option Paths remain in one credit, or split into multiple credits? If multiple credits are necessary, please explain.
*The following are links to Organizations/Standards discussed in this credit:

Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program
http://www.doleta.gov/OA/apprenticeship.cfm

Changes log
  • 12/13/2017
    made applicable to ID+C adaptations
    added developer to project team members
    added GRESB as a Category 1 Framework
    removed checklist requirement for B Corp.
    uploaded revised option 2 checklist
  • 1/30/2018
    ACP guidance added
  • 6/19/2018
    Additional ACP guidance added
  • 11/30/2018
    GRI Standards updated

LEEDuser expert

Joel Ann Todd

Independent Consultant

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Subscribe to new discussions about Pilot-Credits IPpc90