Log in

LEED certification

LEED Addenda

Forum discussion

General forums

LEED Addenda

January 10, 2014

I just got the email notifying me of the quarterly addenda with the reminder: "Project teams are required to adhere to rating system corrections and LEED Interpretations based on LEED registration date. It is strongly recommended that project teams follow reference guide corrections."

How are people handling keeping (all of) their LEED reference guides up to date with these addenda? If a firm has a dozen copies of a dozen different ref guides, are people really marking up the changes by hand 4 times a year? Or are there complete online ref guides that are always up to date?

Related to that, if someone buys a ref guide tomorrow, will it be up to date addenda wise, or does USGBC expect them to know that they have to make 5 years worth of quarterly addenda corrections to this new book?

You rely on LEEDuser. Can we rely on you?

LEEDuser is supported by our premium members, not by advertisers.

Go premium for $12.95 »

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a LEEDuser Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.

17 critical—and misunderstood—LEED terms

The LEED family of rating systems uses specific terms to describe various aspects of its program. Whether you are a designer, contractor, consultant, manufacturer, educator, or owner, it is important to be clear and consistent about these terms. Becoming familiar with these terms is also a great way to gain a basic understanding of LEED.

LEED: Short for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.” Don't call it “Leeds”—that’s a city in England. LEED is a voluntary (except when required by specific municipal programs, or in government buildings) program meant to objectively measure how "green" or environmentally friendly a building is in several key areas: impact on site, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

USGBC: The U.S. Green Building Council is the nonprofit, nongovernmental, membership-based organization that conceived of LEED, and continues to support the LEED Rating System.

GBCI: Green Business Certification Inc. is the nonprofit organization that is in charge of accrediting LEED professionals and certifying LEED buildings (see more on these terms below). GBCI is very closely connected with USGBC—some people refer to the two organizations interchangably—but basically, USGBC maintains the LEED rating system, and does a lot of other stuff (like advocating for green building policies), while GBCI enforces rules related to LEED. (Note: until 2015, GBCI was "Green Building Certification Institute.")

LEED certification: Buildings become “LEED certified” by completing the registration and documentation requirements and receiving official certification from the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). Certified buildings may display a LEED plaque.

LEED registration: Before they become certified, projects must have registered with GBCI in order to submit their documentation. A LEED-registered project may be in the process of pursuing certification, but is not considered certified.

You rely on LEEDuser. Can we rely on you?

LEEDuser is supported by our premium members, not by advertisers.

Go premium for $12.95 »

LEED Online: LEED Online is the Web-based portal where LEED projects register and where they complete and upload documentation for certification. There are currently three active versions of LEED Online: LEED Online v2, LEED Online v3, and the most recent version, which is simply called LEED Online. LEED Online includes campus projects, which previously had their own version, called LEED Online for Campus.

The four levels of LEED certificationCertification levels: LEED projects can be certified at one of four levels: 1.) Certified 2.) Silver 3.) Gold 4.) Platinum. Check that: lower-case "certified" could be any of four levels, while upper-case "Certified" refers specifically to the lowest level. It is common to achieve Silver certification, while Gold and especially Platinum are more out of reach.

LEED accreditation: Professionals in the building industry who learn about green building and LEED and pass an exam can become “LEED-accredited” and use the credentials “LEED AP” (for LEED Accredited Professional), or LEED Green Associate. The LEED AP credential is for designers, contractors, and other members of a project team who have LEED experience, while the LEED Green Associate credential is intended for sales reps and other associated professionals. LEED AP credentials come with a specialty, such as BD+C, for "Building Design and Construction," signifying an expertise in the new construction side of LEED.

Building products: Building manufacturers sometimes want to get their products, assemblies, or building systems “LEED certified.” However, products cannot be LEED certified or otherwise preapproved for LEED. They can only contribute to the earning of specific LEED credits and therefore to the certification of a project. Many building products and materials can contribute to earning LEED credits in one way or another. See LEEDuser's specific LEED credit guidance for more.

LEED prerequisite: A section of a LEED rating system with specific intent and requirements that must be met for a project to become certified. Missing even one prerequisite will disqualify a project from LEED certification. If planned for, prerequisites are typically very easy to achieve.

LEED credit: A section of a LEED rating system with specific intent and requirements that a project can meet to earn one or more points toward certification. Credits are typically more challenging than prerequisites and represent greater-than-standard practice. By definition there are no required credits, but to achieve any level of LEED certification some credits must be earned, and achieving a high LEED score means achieve many or most available credits.

LEED 2009: Launched in 2009, this version of LEED encompasses several different LEED rating systems. Registration for LEED 2009 closes in June 2015. LEED 2009 is sometimes referred to as LEED v3. A few LEED rating systems (Existing Buildings, Homes) also have a "2008" iteration.

LEED v4: Originally referred to as LEED 2012, the name of LEED v4 changed when its launch was pushed to November 2013. LEED v4 includes many new and revised LEED credits and prerequisites.

LEED rating systems (as of LEED 2009): LEED certification can apply to a whole building, whether new or existing, with different versions of the rating system applying to new construction and major renovations (LEED for New Construction, or LEED-NC), or operations and maintenance (LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance). Certification can also apply to tenant improvements using the LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) rating system, even if they don’t encompass an entire building. Entire neighborhoods can also be certified under LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND). Certain specific building types are addressed through rating systems such as LEED for Healthcare and LEED for Schools, which are modified versions of the more generic LEED-NC.

LEED rating systems (as of LEED v4): As a way of dealing with the proliferation of LEED rating systems, USGBC officially consolidated the number of rating systems to four in LEED v4:

  • LEED for Building Design & Construction (LEED BD+C)
  • LEED for Interior Design & Construction (LEED ID+C)
  • LEED for Building Operations & Maintenance (LEED O+M)
  • LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND)

LEED rating system adaptations (LEED v4): With the consolidation that took place with LEED v4, USGBC is currently referring to specific rating systems for individual building types as "adaptations." The following is a complete list of LEED v4 rating system adaptations. These are the specific LEED rating systems that individual projects will use.

  • LEED for Building Design & Construction: New Construction and Major Renovations
    • Abbreviations: LEED BD+C: New Construction, or BD+C: NC
  • LEED for Building Design & Construction: Core and Shell Development
    • Abbreviations: LEED BD+C: Core and Shell, or BD+C: CS
  • LEED for Building Design & Construction: Schools
    • Abbreviations: LEED BD+C: Schools, or BD+C: S
  • LEED for Building Design & Construction: Retail
    • Abbreviations: LEED BD+C: Retail, or BD+C: R
  • LEED for Building Design & Construction: Healthcare
    • Abbreviations: LEED BD+C: Healthcare, or BD+C: HC
  • LEED for Building Design & Construction: Data Centers
    • Abbreviations: LEED BD+C: Data Centers, or BD+C: DC
  • LEED for Building Design & Construction: Hospitality
    • Abbreviations: LEED BD+C: Hospitality, or BD+C: HO
  • LEED for Building Design & Construction: Warehouses and Distribution Centers
    • Abbreviations: LEED BD+C: Warehouses and Distribution Centers, or BD+C: WDC
  • LEED for Building Design & Construction: Homes and Multifamily Lowrise
    • Abbreviations: LEED BD+C: Homes, or BD+C: H
  • LEED for Building Design & Construction: Multifamily Midrise
    • Abbreviations: LEED BD+C: Multifamily Midrise, or BD+C: MR
  • LEED for Interior Design & Construction: Commercial Interiors
    • Abbreviations: LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors, or ID+C: CI
  • LEED for Interior Design & Construction: Retail
    • Abbreviations: LEED ID+C: Retail, or ID+C: R
  • LEED for Interior Design & Construction: Hospitality
    • Abbreviations: LEED ID+C: Hospitality, or ID+C: HO
  • LEED for Building Operations & Maintenance: Existing Buildings
    • Abbreviations: LEED O+M: Existing Buildings, or O+M: EB
  • LEED for Building Operations & Maintenance: Data Centers
    • Abbreviations: LEED O+M: Data Centers, or O+M: DC
  • LEED for Building Operations & Maintenance: Warehouses and Distribution Centers
    • Abbreviations: LEED O+M: Warehouses and Distribution Centers, or O+M: WDC
  • LEED for Building Operations & Maintenance: Hospitality
    • Abbreviations: LEED O+M: Hospitality, or O+M: HO
  • LEED for Building Operations & Maintenance: Schools
    • Abbreviations: LEED O+M: Schools, or O+M: S
  • LEED for Building Operations & Maintenance: Retail
    • Abbreviations: LEED O+M: Retail, or O+M: R
  • LEED for Neighborhood Development: Plan
    • Abbreviations: LEED ND: Plan, or ND: Plan
  • LEED for Neighborhood Development: Project
    • Abbreviations: LEED ND: Project, or ND: Project

LEEDuser: One last term. This website is a support tool for projects seeking LEED certification. It consists of extensive guidance on achieving LEED credits and prerequisites that is available to members, as well as a discussion forum available for free.

There are plenty of other key LEED terms—in fact, we have a whole LEED glossary embedded in this site, but this post is meant to provide a high-level introduction to key concepts. What are your questions? What misconceptions about LEED do you encounter? What key terms would you add? Please add your comments below.

Thanks to my colleague Nadav Malin for writing many of the above descriptions.

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a LEEDuser Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.

PVC components in LEED

Forum discussion

General forums

PVC components in LEED

January 3, 2014

Can PVC based building materials help a project to qualify for LEED points?

You rely on LEEDuser. Can we rely on you?

LEEDuser is supported by our premium members, not by advertisers.

Go premium for $12.95 »

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a LEEDuser Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.

LEED Green Assocaite Practice Tests

Forum discussion

General forums

LEED Green Assocaite Practice Tests

December 24, 2013

There are a number of companies providing online practice tests for Green Associate and AP+. They vary from $40 to $200 for 500-800 questions. Most are private companies, but there is also the USGBC. Can anyone provide recommendations for which ones faithfully represent the type of questions one would find on a real exam? I have studied materials and want to take several more practice exams. I have done all the free ones. Thanks and happy holidays to all.

You rely on LEEDuser. Can we rely on you?

LEEDuser is supported by our premium members, not by advertisers.

Go premium for $12.95 »

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a LEEDuser Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.

New to leeds

Forum discussion

General forums

New to leeds

December 12, 2013

I'm a small developer and just trying to learn all I can about building a leed platinum building in upstate New York
Project
1. Was an existing building site in a mixed use commercial district on the national historic registry. The lot is empty and is 90ft x 35 and will be getting approval for a 6 story building commercial on first floor with 10 rental units above
2. The town is walkable and has public transportation
Can someone please steer me in the right direction. Would this be a good potential project .
3 we are meeting w geo thermal guy etc

You rely on LEEDuser. Can we rely on you?

LEEDuser is supported by our premium members, not by advertisers.

Go premium for $12.95 »

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a LEEDuser Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.

Can I register a Mock or Dummy Project for training purposes?

Forum discussion

General forums

Can I register a Mock or Dummy Project for training purposes?

December 8, 2013

I wish to pay the fee and register with LEEDonline (v3) a project about a real building that is to be designed and constructed, but the owner is not interested in obtaining any LEED certification.

However, I wish to train myself and my design & build team on the LEED certification process.

Therefore... I am having the thought to present myself as the owner of the building and register it so that I can have access to all those forms available in LEEDonline.

I will then fill in and upload these forms in LEEDonline, but I have no intention to submit them to GBCI for a combined or split review. I only wish to train my team on how to tackle a LEED project, just in case the next project we win is with a client who wishes to have his building certified.

So I am not planning to pay any certification fee and submit our work; only the registration fee is to be paid.

Is this allowed?
It is about a real building but it will be a mock or dummy LEED project. Is this illegal or not?
I will pay the required registration fee myself. Only the owner's registration information will be fake, as I am planning to use my own details and not the real owner's of the building.
The building of course is not going to be submitted for certification!

Thanks in advance!

You rely on LEEDuser. Can we rely on you?

LEEDuser is supported by our premium members, not by advertisers.

Go premium for $12.95 »

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a LEEDuser Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.

awareness training for the construction engineers

Forum discussion

General forums

awareness training for the construction engineers

October 22, 2013

I am looking for a high level awareness training for the engineers in my company who are responsible for construction of new/existing facilities and energy conservation. I want to not just tell them the justification for LEED, but also provide detail on current LEED requirements so they can start 'pre-adopting' and incorporating aspects of the requirements before certification is mandated. (They are quite good at energy-saving projects.) I saw a copy of the "Section 01 81 13 - Sustainable Design Requirements" dated 2007. Is there something similar to this that is more up-to-date?

You rely on LEEDuser. Can we rely on you?

LEEDuser is supported by our premium members, not by advertisers.

Go premium for $12.95 »

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a LEEDuser Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.

Project Setup : Combined wanted to change to Split review

Forum discussion

General forums

Project Setup : Combined wanted to change to Split review

September 30, 2013

My project has registered as a standard combined application -Design & Construction in one application. This happened at the beginning of the year, already paid and all. Now, we are starting our documentation process but have not submitted any reviews yet. My question is : Now that we are gathering the design for leed documentation, and realize that we need to change the project from 'combined review' to 'split' application/review. Other words, we would like to first submit the design review followed by the construction application/review when the time is right. How do I proceed with changing the status of the project? I couldnt find any options on leedonline website that i can just 'click and change. Is this something that i have to consult w/ the customer service and have them do it from their end? Any information that I can get from here I would appreciate it. Thank you!

You rely on LEEDuser. Can we rely on you?

LEEDuser is supported by our premium members, not by advertisers.

Go premium for $12.95 »

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a LEEDuser Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.

LEED rating for a penthouse on top of an existing building

Forum discussion

General forums

LEED rating for a penthouse on top of an existing building

September 27, 2013

I am working on a new two storey penthouse project which is 2900sqft and located on the roof top of a low-rise existing gym and a car park building. the project is located in Asia.
the client wishes to pursue LEED rating for this penthouse unit. Although LEED homes will be applicable, considering it is outside US, it will be complicated. I am not sure about applicability of NC as some of the credits on SS category might not be relevant as it is located on a rooftop. Any suggestions of a relevant rating system would be appreciated.

You rely on LEEDuser. Can we rely on you?

LEEDuser is supported by our premium members, not by advertisers.

Go premium for $12.95 »

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a LEEDuser Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.

LEEDonline Troubleshooting: Images

Forum discussion

General forums

LEEDonline Troubleshooting: Images

September 26, 2013

Does anyone have suggestions as to how to troubleshoot error messages in Internet Explorer 8 when trying to upload images? I've looked all over the forum and cannot find a resolution that works. The upload bar gives me the option to browse for files but when I hit the actual upload button the browser stops and an error message shows in the bottom left corner. From here i have to "go back to scorecard."

I have tried different internet connections, turning compatibility on and off, different image file types, etc.

Any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance.

You rely on LEEDuser. Can we rely on you?

LEEDuser is supported by our premium members, not by advertisers.

Go premium for $12.95 »

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a LEEDuser Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.