This supplement to the Guide to LEED Certification will explain the basic process of LEED volume certification.
Certification through LEED volume certification involves three main steps:
- 省域副中心城市Get started省域副中心城市?with LEED volume certification by applying for admittance, connecting with your new account manager and attending the required orientation after submitting the volume certification admission fee.
- 省域副中心城市Precertify省域副中心城市?a prototype that can be applied across your building portfolio by submitting key documentation and the prototype fee in?LEED Online, and then participating in the review process.
- 省域副中心城市Certify省域副中心城市?projects based on your prototype and participate in ongoing, quality-assurance audits.
If you need assistance at any time, please?contact us.
Note: Check out our?Guide to LEED Certification: Commercial, which works in conjunction with this guide to give you a full picture of LEED volume certification. The content in this guide applies to all LEED 2009 and LEED v4 volume prototypes and projects, regardless of prototype registration date.
Core and Shell projects require a special setup in LEED Online. Please?connect with us?before considering volume certification for these projects.
Your first step to getting started with LEED volume certification is to apply for admittance. All volume certification participants are organizations that own, manage or lease real estate – however, please note that consultants, architects and contractors are not eligible.?Contact USGBC to learn more?and request an application.
Our team will work with you to complete the application, which calls for information about your organization, experience with LEED, and the potential set of projects you'll eventually submit for volume certification. This will allow us to determine if your organization is a good fit for this type of certification, and assess your readiness.
After you submit your volume application and it is accepted, you’ll receive a dedicated USGBC account manager and a?省域副中心城市portfolio省域副中心城市?in?LEED Online, the web-based resource for managing the LEED documentation process, as well as access to a variety of tools and resources, including dedicated technical support. The portfolio is a group tool that allows you to track and organize prototypes and volume projects, in one place. Within LEED Online, all members of a portfolio's team will have access to prototypes and projects.
Next up? We ask that you complete an orientation program that requires you to review helpful guidance documents and participate in orientation. Your account manager will help you schedule your team's participation in one of the upcoming one-day volume certification workshops. While we only require a single representative from your organization to attend the in-person event, your program fee covers up to three attendees. We look forward to meeting you!
With orientation under your belt, you’re ready to move forward with precertifying your prototype.?省域副中心城市Prototype precertification省域副中心城市?is the process in which prototype standards are developed and reviewed prior to the implementation of volume projects. This phase of LEED volume certification includes registering and submitting the prototype in?LEED Online, at which point the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI: the organization responsible for administering LEED certification) will conduct a comprehensive review to ensure that it meets LEED volume certification requirements.
Ready to begin? To register for this phase, you’ll need to submit the prototype fee and enter basic prototype information into?LEED Online. After completing registration, you may begin to assign team members in?LEED Online.
Once you have incorporated the informal feedback and finalized your prototype documentation, you can submit your full prototype in?LEED Online. The review process follows the “standard review” process outlined in the?Guide to LEED Certification?and also includes the option for appeals, inquiries, and other aspects outlined in the Guide to LEED Certification (please note that expedited reviews are unfortunately not available for Volume prototypes). GBCI targets the delivery of the preliminary prototype review within 30 business days and the final prototype review within 20 business days.
To be eligible for precertification, your prototype must include all LEED prerequisites and enough credits to achieve certification at the LEED CertifiedTM level or higher. We’ll refer to the prerequisites and credits included in a particular prototype as?省域副中心城市prototype credits省域副中心城市throughout this document. Prototype credits must be earned using the same techniques, methods and management strategies across all volume projects.
In order to complete your application, you’ll need to provide documentation that addresses both the prototype credit strategies that you will pursue as well as the education, quality control and audit documentation that you will have in place to support these strategies. The format for these submittals is flexible to allow you to leverage your own organizational processes, tools and technology platforms as you facilitate LEED volume certification. For additional details regarding submittals, see the LEED Volume Program: Submittal Guidance, which your account manager will provide you.
Your precertification application consists of general and credit-level documentation.
The general submittals include a high-level overview of your organization as well as a quality control plan and education plan, which must show that you have the processes, tools, and education program necessary to deliver projects that consistently meet the LEED credit requirements.
The credit level submittals must include the following four components:
- Technical documentation demonstrates that the prototype meets the LEED credit requirements.
- The quality control process demonstrates the specific steps and tools that are in place to ensure that the LEED credit requirements are consistently met in the volume projects.
- The education process demonstrates that everyone involved in the process is properly educated on the required implementation steps for each credit.
- Finally, the audit documentation should identify sample deliverables that will be collected during a potential future audit to demonstrate that processes and procedures were followed.
Prototypes must ensure that related projects satisfy the requirements of all MPRs, prerequisites, and enough LEED credits to achieve certification along with all needed documentation.
There are no requirements for how frequently a given prototype credit must be used on volume projects. Rather, we encourage you to consider the frequency that you anticipate applying each credit when deciding whether or not to include a credit in the prototype precertification. For credits that you anticipate using less frequently, you may opt to leave them out of your prototype precertification and instead, supplement the prototype by using them as?省域副中心城市individual credits省域副中心城市?in unique circumstances. Individual credits incur an additional fee – you can learn more about them in the “Certify” section below.
You may experience unanticipated changes in the volume projects that you are certifying under a particular prototype – changes that affect the prototype credits and the path you pursue (changes of materials, construction methods, policy updates, etc.). If this occurs, please reach out to your account manager as soon as possible. If the changes affect the quality control process, audit documentation, credit options or paths, or the performance levels of the credits (in design and construction), then they are considered substantive changes that will require you to submit relevant documentation for a further round of precertification review for those credits.?省域副中心城市Additional credits or changed credits省域副中心城市?can be submitted for a prototype after the initial prototype is precertified, for a fee.
Volume prototype registration closes when individual project registration closes. Preliminary submissions for volume prototype precertification are accepted up to 12 months after this registration deadline. You must also achieve volume prototype precertification before any registered volume projects may submit for certification. Volume projects have an additional three years to register after the closure of registration of any LEED rating system - a benefit unique to this type of certification. Volume projects must submit for preliminary review by the sunset date for the version of the LEED rating system under which they are certifying.
Deadlines for volume prototypes and volume projects pursuing LEED 2009:
- The prototype registration closure for LEED v2009 was Oct. 21, 2016
- Volume prototypes registered under LEED v2009 must be submitted for preliminary review by Oct. 31, 2017
- Volume LEED v2009 projects must be registered and purchased by Oct. 31, 2019
- Volume LEED v2009 projects must submit for preliminary review by June 30, 2021
Once your prototype has achieved precertification (congratulations!), you’re ready to enter the certification phase, at which point your volume projects can be certified using the prototype standards. During the certification phase, you can register and begin construction on your volume projects, and pursue certification for them using the prototyped standards and credits. For LEED EB: O+M prototypes, you may begin the performance period for your volume projects.
- Note: please be sure to verify the accuracy of the volume project scorecard that you submit. This is a critical step in your process. The scorecard must reflect accurate credit achievement and a certification level that you have verified prior to submission.
- You submit the project’s basic information, LEED volume project scorecard and key metrics for a preliminary review in?LEED Online. Your application will be checked for completeness and compliance.
- GBCI will respond with its preliminary review and offer of certification or notification of audit within five business days.
- We ask that you accept the certification within 25 business days.
Audits are a key element of quality control throughout the volume process, helping to ensure that volume projects achieve the same rigorous standards as one-off projects that go through the traditional LEED certification process.
We want your volume projects to succeed and we will provide you with the guidance and expertise that will set you up for success. However, in certain instances, if a project has not successfully achieved a prototype credit that is submitted on a volume project scorecard, GBCI may deny these credits. You may pursue the standard appeals process, detailed above in the “Prototype precertification” section, for any denied credits. If GBCI determines through the appeals process that the volume project did indeed fail to achieve the credits in question, GBCI will remove the denied prototype credit from the prototype scorecard, and you are not eligible to apply the prototype credit to a volume project until you have precertified it again. You may precertify a denied prototype credit again using the process to add or revise credits noted in the “Additional or changed credits” paragraph in the “Precertify” section.
The following audit review outcomes will result in a failed volume project, requiring you to submit a remediation plan for a fee:
- Three or more denied prototype credits
- The failure of a prerequisite
- If the denial of one or more prototype credits reduces the total number of points awarded such that the project cannot achieve the level of LEED certification indicated on the volume project scorecard
In the subsequent remediation plan, you should identify the cause of the failure in the process and the steps you’ve taken to correct the failure before submitting any additional volume projects for certification. The remediation plan receives one review, for which GBCI targets delivery within 20 business days. Once your remediation plan has been reviewed and approved, for the next three volume projects that you submit for certification, GBCI will review the full audit documentation for all three projects. There is a fee associated with the remediation plan , which covers the report review as well as the review of the full audit documentation for those three projects.
In the event that the full audit documentation review of one of these three projects results in an additional failed volume project, the entire prototype will be suspended and you’ll need to complete the precertification phase again. Your volume project purchases are not forfeited when a prototype is suspended, however, you will not be allowed to submit a volume project for certification until the re-precertification process is complete, including payment of the prototype fee again. To re-precertify a prototype, you’ll need to provide full precertification submittals, including information on all prototype prerequisites and credits. It is up to you to determine what aspects of the prototype’s precertification submittals must change in order for you to correct the failure. Some components of the prototype’s technical documentation and management processes may not have contributed to the failure, so the information that you submit for re-precertification of these components can be the same documentation as you originally submitted.
Please note that if one of the aforementioned audit documentation review outcomes occurs in the first three projects submitted under a prototype, a remediation plan and fee is not required as long as you’re able to correct the failure in the process for future volume projects.
Please check out the Guide to LEED Certification for a full rundown of how USGBC utilizes project data. In addition to the project directory and other information we collect for all LEED projects, for volume certification participants, we also collect:
- Name of Volume participant
- Number of projects pursuing LEED volume certification
- Square footage associated with a participant’s projects pursuing LEED volume certification
- Prototype registration date
- Prototype precertification date
- Prototype precertification level
- Prototype points earned
- Prototype scorecard
- Prototype rating system and version
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