At CaGBC and GBCI Canada, we are working to provide flexibility and exceptions to project teams facing challenges meeting LEED requirements as a result of COVID-19.
To help you navigate some of the challenges, we’ve made a list of the top customer service-related questions and answers related to LEED Canada, LEED v4 and LEED v4.1. Can’t find the answer you are looking for? Contact us at LEED Coach Canada. For other GBCI programs, you can find help here.
Q: We can’t provide our review resubmittal on time due to COVID-19. Can we get an extension?
A. Contact LEED Coach Canada, sharing your project number and circumstance, and we will be glad to help.
Q: Our LEED Canada project’s construction site has been shut down by provincial order due to COVID-19. We are concerned we will not be able to complete construction and submit on time to meet the LEED Canada sunset deadline of October 31, 2022. Can we get an extension?
A. At this time, it is unknown how long the site closures will be in effect. Once construction restarts, contact LEED Coach Canada if you still have concerns your project will be unable to meet the submittal deadline; please share your project number and the circumstances your project has faced.
Q: We can’t submit our LEED O+M project for review on time due to COVID-19. Can we get an extension?
A: Yes, LEED O+M project teams will be given a six-month extension for activities and actions they are unable to complete on-time due to COVID-19. Be sure to provide a narrative explanation when submitting for certification review. Please feel free to contact LEED Coach Canada if you have project specific circumstances you would like to discuss.
Q: I have updated my cleaning strategies in response to COVID-19. Will this impact my certification?
A: Every project should feel confident in taking measures to provide a safe and healthy environment. In the event that the project team is required to purchase products that do not meet the criteria of EQc Green Cleaning due to current concerns about COVID-19, please contact LEED Coach Canada with a narrative explaining the circumstances.
Q: Can you clarify the differences in disinfection protocols for EQc Green Cleaning and the Safety First Pilot Credit: Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Space?
A. One of the key elements of any workplace re-entry plan is disinfection protocols. There is a difference in disinfection protocols between these two credits For the EQc Green Cleaning credit, use products that are UL 2794 certified. For the pilot credit, use any product that is approved by Health Canada as effective against COVID-19 and uses active ingredients from the EPA’s Design for the Environment program.
Q: I am concerned that the change in occupancy for my building will impact performance reporting for my LEED O+M project. What should I do?
A. We understand that significantly reduced (or increased) occupancy will impact building data and scores. Over the coming months, we will be evaluating the extent of this impact and additional guidance will be made available. We will work with each team regarding their performance questions. Please feel free to contact LEED Coach Canada, sharing your project number and circumstance. When submitting for review, include a narrative explaining the drop in occupancy and what actions were taken as a result, as well as a copy of any correspondence with our staff on your project’s situation.
In the meantime, for a more accurate picture of performance, we recommend LEED v4.1 O+M projects adjust the occupancy value for their project when significant changes in occupancy have occurred. Use a time weighted average based on occupancy throughout the reporting period.
For information about the impact of occupancy changes on Arc Performance Scores, leveraged for LEED v4.1 O+M and LEED Recertification, review this Arc FAQ.
Q: How do I calculate a time-weighted average based on occupancy throughout a reporting period for my LEED v4.1 O+M project?
A: Do not enter multiple occupancy values for a given reporting period in LEED Online (or Arc); enter a single, time-weighted value for occupancy with an effective date on or prior to the beginning of the reporting period.
The number of occupants for each timeframe in the calculation should represent the space-weighted occupancy, including visitors, calculated per the “Weighted occupancy” section of the LEED v4.1 O+M Guide.
Reporting Period: June 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020
June 1, 2019 through February 28, 2020: 600 occupants (75% of the reporting period)
March 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020: 10 occupants (25% of the reporting period)
Calculation: (600*0.75) + (10*.25) = 453 occupants
Enter 453 occupants
Q: What about other LEED v4.1 performance metrics impacted by COVID-19 conditions?
A: It certainly can be challenging to conduct occupant surveys, waste audits, indoor air quality measurements and other performance measures during this time. LEED v4.1 O+M project teams will be given a six-month extension for these activities if unable to complete all performance data within their reporting period. Occupant surveys can also be conducted remotely with your full-time occupants to reflect commuting patterns or satisfaction levels experienced prior to and/or during the pandemic.
LEED v4.1 O+M requires the indoor air quality evaluation to be performed during normal occupied hours, under typical minimum ventilation conditions. The indoor air quality measurements should not be performed while under low or no use. Given that many buildings will be operating with lower use for extended periods, we are currently evaluating additional guidance for the Human Experience score to address this situation. To complete indoor air quality testing during partial occupied conditions, contact LEED Coach Canada to discuss an approach for your project.
Note: projects monitoring TVOC and CO2 on a continuous basis with installed sensors may continue to collect measurements during low- or no-use conditions, but these readings may impact your score. Contact LEED Coach Canada to discuss your project’s circumstances, and we will work with you to determine an approach for your project.
LEED Recertification projects that are unable to perform annual reporting requirements in each LEED category due to COVID-19 may provide a narrative explaining the circumstances in their next LEED recertification application and will not be required to pay a new registration fee. The project team should try to perform the actions required for annual reporting at the next opportunity, within reason.
Q: My construction waste recycling facility is closed or is not recycling materials at the same rate as before due to COVID-19. I am not able to store materials to wait for better recycling conditions. What can I do?
A: We encourage all projects to continue to divert materials and recycle to the greatest extent possible. Those materials that are able to be recycled and diverted shall be documented in the normal way as outlined in the Materials and Resources Construction and Demolition Waste Management credit. However, we realize that circumstances may make recycling challenging for reasons outside a project team’s control during the global pandemic.
Projects experiencing difficulty during this time shall continue to send materials to recycling facilities and either: (a) temporarily exclude the affected loads from credit calculations (still track the materials, even though they will not count toward overall project generation and diversion rates), or (b) use the waste processing facility’s average diversion rate reported prior to the pandemic. Diversion rates must be the facility average for at least the six months prior to the pandemic.
Contact LEED Coach Canada with a narrative explaining the circumstances, as well as your preferred approach, and our LEED reviewers will help you understand how to document the approach in your LEED certification.
Q: Can I pay my LEED project’s certification fees by electronic bank transfer?
A. Yes, please contact LEED Coach Canada and we’ll provide instructions for setting up your company to make payments by electronic bank transfer rather than by cheque.