LEED Interpretations

Having difficulty fulfilling a rating system prerequisite or credit? Have an alternative way to interpret a credit or path to fulfill it? A credit interpretation allows a project team to gain clarification before registering a project or while working through their LEED application. All inquiries for LEED v4 projects are filed through LEED Online and should address only one credit or prerequisite. There are two types of interpretations:

  • Credit Interpretation Ruling (CIR): A CIR allows a project team to obtain technical guidance related to a particular credit or facet of the LEED rating system. A review team will let you know if your interpretation of a particular credit or prerequisite is consistent with published rating system requirements. When it comes time to submit the certification application for review, teams will provide documentation demonstrating fulfillment of the CIR and indicate the approved CIR within the application for certification. CIRs are not precedent setting; the project team can only utilize the ruling for the project under which the CIR was submitted.
  • LEED Interpretation: Administered by the USGBC, LEED Interpretations focus on the evolution of the LEED rating system and are published periodically in the form of official addenda. They are developed through a deliberative process involving LEED committees. Like CIRs, LEED Interpretations provide answers to technical inquiries about applying LEED in situations not already addressed by the rating systems, reference guides and MPRs. They differ from CIRs in that, as USGBC issued addenda, these rulings are precedent-setting and applicable to all projects registered in the future. As is the case with all addenda, a project registered before a LEED Interpretation is published may voluntarily elect to follow these revisions. Teams can access published LEED Interpretations online in the searchable addenda database.

Interpretations under LEED Canada

Projects pursuing certification using LEED Canada Rating Systems may submit a Credit Interpretation Request using the CaGBC’s online form. Published CIRs for LEED Canada Rating Systems are precedent setting and can be viewed in the online database.