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LEEDuser Tipsheets

LEEDuser offers hundreds of calculators, templates, and sample forms that you can use today on your LEED project. Navigate to the LEED credit you’re working on and view the Documentation Toolkit tab.

We also offer the following tipsheets that often go beyond a single LEED credit.

LEED Process

General

  • LEED-NC v4 Explained in Two Pages
    LEED v4 is here. The deadline to register for LEED 2009 passed in October 2016. Already-registered LEED 2009 projects have till June 30, 2021 to submit for certification or upgrade to LEED v4. The most noteworthy changes in LEED v4 are explained here.
  • Essential LEED Interpretations, Addenda, and Rating System Updates
    LEED Interpretations, or LIs, are precedent-setting updates to the LEED rating systems that can be used by all projects. Project teams are required to adhere to both LEED rating system addenda and LEED Interpretations issue before a project's LEED registration date. LEED Interpretations and addenda issued after a project's registration date are optional. We review the key ones here every quarter.
  • LEED Documentation Tips from LEED Reviewers
    Mistakes in your LEED documentation mean extra reviews and possibly losing credits or your whole LEED certification. We sat down with GBCI reviewers to learn their top tips to making quality documentation.
  • LEED Energy and EQ Documentation Tips from LEED Reviewers
    The most important tips on completing quality energy (EA) and ventilation (EQ) documentation for your LEED project, to have a smooth review process.
  • Navigating LEED Online and LEED Reviews
    Here's a status report on LEED Online and digests of recent updates, as well as tips on navigating common LEED review problems.
  • Using the Innovation Catalog
    The innovation catalog is a handy resource for browsing the USGBC-approved innovation credits available to your project. Learn how to use it to your advantage.
  • Using the LEED Pilot Credit Library
    All LEED projects can earn Innovation points for piloting credits. To earn a point, here's what projects need to do.
  • Understanding the Cost of LEED-NC Project Certification
    How much does LEED certification cost? Earning a LEED certification for a project involves several different types of costs, and you have to consider each separately to get an accurate picture.

New Construction

Existing Buildings O+M

  • Performance Periods in LEED-EBOM: Rules to Follow
    The LEED-EBOM program is built around the idea of a “performance period,” or a snapshot of time where teams collect performance data for review by GBCI.
  • LEED Recertification: When and How
    Recertification is required within five years if you want to retain your ability to advertise your LEED-EBOM certification. Here’s some key information on how to do that.

Sustainability Concepts

General

  • Product Libraries for LEED v4 Material Credits
    Designers looking for materials that meet the requirements of LEED v4 will quickly find that there are an incredible number of standards, hazard lists, screening tools, product certifications, certification bodies, and databases out there. Here's a guide to key libraries and databases.
  • Understanding Thermal Comfort Factors
    How to understand basic terminology and values relative to thermal comfort.
  • Intro to CalGreen and LEED
    Many of the measures in CALGreen will look quite familiar to anyone accustomed to working with the LEED for New Construction rating system.

Credit Guidance — v4 rating systems

New Construction

Existing Buildings O+M

  • A Guide to Commissioning and Auditing Credentials
    Understand the range of professional certifications available for professionals who can do commissioning and audits.
  • Environmental Best Practices for Deicer Application
    Use this strategy page to support compliance with the deicing component of LEED-EBOM SSc2: Building Exterior and Hardscape Management Plan, or simply as a guide to best practices for deicing at your facility. See that credit page for additional guidance and resources.
  • Renewable Energy and Carbon Offsets EBOM v4 Tipsheet
    To calculate your project’s required green power purchase quantity for the Green Power credit, choose one of the methods shown here.
  • Waste Stream Audit Protocol
    This protocol will help you conduct a LEED-EBOM-compliant waste audit. It can also be useful in any situation where you want to establish a baseline for the types and quantities of waste leaving your building.
  • Guide to Exemplary Performance Points in LEED-EBOM v4
    Here’s where to look in LEED-EBOM v4 to achieve Exemplary Performance (EP) credits under the Innovation credit. We’ve compiled the benchmarks you’ll need to hit for each credit, and included our own notes on how achievable each benchmark is so that you can focus your efforts and maximize your Innovation points.
  • School as a Teaching Tool Curriculum Ideas
    This document is intended to provide teachers with a starting point for the curriculum assembled for LEED for Schools IDc3: The School as a Teaching Tool.

Credit Guidance — v2009 rating systems

New Construction

Existing Buildings O+M

  • Environmental Best Practices for Deicer Application
    Use this strategy page to support compliance with the deicing component of LEED-EBOM SSc2: Building Exterior and Hardscape Management Plan, or simply as a guide to best practices for deicing at your facility. See that credit page for additional guidance and resources.
  • Doing the Alternative Commuting Transportation Survey
    Option 3 allows you to comply with the credit requirements by conducting a survey of your regular building occupants’ commuting behavior over a five-day period. The majority of project teams who attempt this credit do so with the commuter survey.
  • Locating 2-year, 24-hour rainfall intensity values for EBOM SSc6
    Use this step-by-step guide to find the data you need for this credit.
  • Step by Step Calculations for EBOM EAc4: Onsite and Off-Site Renewable Energy
    Use this sample method to guide your project in calculating the necessary level of onsite renewable energy production or off-site renewable energy purchase. If you are already producing or purchasing renewable energy, you can use these steps to determine how many points you’re earning on this credit.
  • Waste Stream Audit Protocol
    This protocol will help you conduct a LEED-EBOM-compliant waste audit. It can also be useful in any situation where you want to establish a baseline for the types and quantities of waste leaving your building.
  • Air Sealing Guidance for LEED-EBOM IEQp2
    If smoking will be allowed in parts of the building, use good air sealing to stop transfer of ETS and pass the required blower door tests.
  • Exemplary Performance Approaches for EBOM IOc1
    Use this list as a guide to Exemplary Performance approaches that are available through IOc1, Path 2. The list is sorted by ease of achievement, from credits that are more commonly achieved, to moderate difficulty, to credits that are considered tougher.

Other Rating Systems

General