Campus project registrations in LEED v4
There is a new approach for Canadian project teams to award credits campus-wide with LEED v4. With LEED Online, eligible LEED credits and prerequisites are pre-approved as campus credits within a master site and then automatically applied to all projects registered within that master site.
What is a “campus credit”?
- A LEED prerequisite or credit that can be attempted for most or all projects within a LEED campus boundary because of shared site features and uniformity in project or management traits.
- Campus credit compliance is documented for the entire area and development within a LEED campus boundary.
- Campus credits reviewed and earned in the master site may then be claimed by all LEED projects associated with that master site.
- The master site itself receives no certification.
The LEED Campus Guidance outlines the steps for projects on shared sites. To use the campus approach, project teams must first register a campus, then the master site (or multiple master sites), and then the inpidual or group project(s) within that site. (Note, that while the LEED Campus Guidance indicates that it applies to “LEED 2009 and LEED v4” projects, this does not include LEED Canada 2009 Rating systems.)
- Register the campus and master plan first in LEED Online. Follow the guidance outlined in the document “How to set up a campus in LEED Online”. Questions? Check out this FAQ.
- Projects can only link to campus credits that are already registered in LEED Online through a master site. If you register a project before the campus and master site were registered in LEED Online, your project registration will need to be withdrawn and re-registered under the master site linked to the campus registration. Contact LEED Coach Canada for assistance.
- Up to three rating systems can be included for the master site (e.g., BD+C: NC, BD+C: CS, ID+C:CI). Where requirements are similar, project teams need only demonstrate to the most stringent of the three rating systems attempted. However, if there is any difference in requirements between the rating systems, project teams should provide three sets of documentation.
Important tips for using the campus approach for your LEED v4 projects:
- Each credit’s eligibility for the Campus Approach is indicated in the applicable reference guides under Further Explanation and summarized in Appendix C (for BD+C) and D (for O+M) of the LEED Campfus Guidance.
- In all instances, prerequisite or credit requirements must be implemented, so while a prerequisite/credit may be eligible for campus master site review, it may not be appropriate if the work is not yet completed.
- Where the requirement is simply to provide the design or plan, the campus master site credit is awarded based on that design. If the design changes, it is up to the project team to revise the master site credit or document the credit on each inpidual project separately.
- The master site can be large or small. For example, even “attached” buildings can utilize the master approach to achieve site related campus together.
Need information on Group certification? Read the July 2020 bulletin here.
Are you substituting LEED v4.1 Residential: Multifamily?
LEED v4.1 includes a rating system specifically for multi-residential projects: LEED v4.1 Residential: Multifamily. Registration for this beta rating system is not yet open to Canadian residential projects. Instead, project teams can continue to register under LEED v4 BD+C: New Construction ("NC"), BD+C: Multifamily Midrise ("Midrise"), or BD+C: Homes and Multifamily Lowrise ("Homes") and adopt select credits from the LEED v4.1 rating system as the teams sees fit. The credits available for substitution are noted in the LEED v4.1 Residential: Multifamily Guide.
If your LEED BD+C:NC project is substituting one of the select credits available from LEED v4.1 Residential: Multifamily, please contact LEED Coach Canada for an alternative LEED Form to complete your documentation in LEED Online.
Use of modular construction
Modular building units are popular for certain construction project types, as they are seen as increasing efficiency through reductions in onsite construction time and waste, along with many other benefits. Plus, there is the potential at the end of the initial project life to reuse the modular units.
While LEED does not provide a certification for temporary structures, modular units are not considered a mobile building. As noted in the LEED v4 Minimum Program Requirement (MPR) 1: Must be in a Permanent Location on Existing Land "prefabricated or modular structures and building elements may be certified once permanently installed as part of the LEED project." There is no specific minimum period of use or lifespan for a building to qualify for certification. This means that modular units are considered part of the LEED project and must be included in all prerequisites and credits attempted.
When to include the modular units as one building
Where modular units are installed as an attached building to the core building structure (for example, a modular wing to a school), they are simply included as part of the LEED project building similar to any added materials, subject to all the same requirements as the core building.
When to use Group certification pathways
If there is a need to separate these structures for the purposes of certification, they would be required to meet the requirements of MPR 2: Must Use Reasonable LEED Boundaries for attached structures. Additionally, as separate certifiable structures within the LEED boundary, the units would be required to certify using the Group certification pathways.
Multiple buildings may be certified as a Group within one LEED project registration, where the entire group, with a single LEED project boundary, receives a single certification.
Similarly, modular units installed permanently within the LEED project site and not attached to the main project building, would be considered certifiable if they were conditioned space and a minimum of 1,000 square feet (93 square meters) of gross floor area; in this case, they would use Group certification pathways alongside the main building.
Two reviews for LEED v4 design credits
LEED v4 BD+C and ID+C project teams take advantage of the split review process allowing teams to submit for separate design and construction reviews, both 2-stage reviews. Project teams should be aware that credits applied for at design review are (only) eligible for two rounds of review. Typically, this is the preliminary and final design reviews. If a credit is not awarded in the final design review submitting additional information in the preliminary construction review is considered an appeal and projects will be charged an appeal fee for the additional review
Rather, if a team is not prepared to respond to preliminary design review comments until a later date, teams can choose not to submit a credit for final design and instead submit the credit for a second round of review during the preliminary construction review. In which case the credit would have been reviewed twice with no need to appeal.
It should be noted this is different than the LEED Canada NC 2009 process, where applicants are invited to submit additional clarification to any credit from the design review during the first construction review with no need to appeal. Additional information on LEED v4 processes can be found in the Guides to LEED Certification available online.
Canadian needs reflected in updates to LEED v4.1 BD+C and ID+C
CaGBC is pleased to see the needs of the Canadian market reflected in the November 2020 addenda for LEED v4.1 BD+C and ID+C. Through careful review with CaGBC’s Technical Advisory Groups, CaGBC was able to identify and successfully advocate for changes to LEED v4.1 that incorporate the experience of Canadian project teams. The resulting addenda will be welcome news for all LEED users, as they emphasize the most important outcomes for projects and help increase certification achievability.
It is anticipated that these addenda represent the last significant updates to LEED v4.1 BD+C and ID+C before going to ballot, which is expected in 2021. The latest changes will ensure that LEED v4.1 serves to accelerate and deepen market transformation.
The addenda and updated beta material can be found on CaGBC’s website; don’t forget to share your thoughts with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the first two of a series of short videos that dive into the most important changes!
- EQ Quality Views: Learn about an overhaul to the assessment of view types, reducing effort and simplifying requirements - such as by eliminating subjective elements like ‘view factors’ and views of movement.
- Location and Transportation Category Part 1: This video highlights key improvements that increase the accessibility of the Surrounding Density & Diverse Uses credit. For example, projects can now simply use Walk Score® to be eligible for all the points under Surrounding Density & Diverse Uses.
Wondering which version of the addenda is available to your project? Project teams must follow addenda published prior to their project’s registration date. While optional, it’s strongly recommended that project teams also follow addenda published after their registration date. Note that any new addenda can be adopted on a credit-by-credit basis, but where credits are related (such as EAp Minimum Energy Performance and EAc Optimize Energy Performance), then the addenda versions must be kept in alignment.
LEED v4.1 Sample Forms are found in LEED Online
Log in to your LEED Online account and click on the “v4.1 Sample Forms” menu where you can filter by rating system, credit category, credit name, and form version.
LEED v4.1 ID+C Integrative Process Option 2. LEED Certified Building
Did you know that LEED v4.1 ID+C integrative Process added a new option for being in a LEED Certified Building? LEED v4 and v4.1 ID+C projects can apply for this option if the base building is certified under a whole building LEED rating system (BD+C or O+M) including previous LEED Canada versions. If the base building’s certification is still pending at the time of the project’s Preliminary Review, this credit can be added at the Final Review phase once the base building’s certification is finalized. You can search for certifications in the Project Database.
Avoid these common problems with LEED Online registrations
- All concerns should be directed to LEED Coach Canada. If you reach out to USGBC LEED Coach, please be aware that this will delay the response to your question by up to 3-4 weeks.
- When registering a project in LEED Online, the person registering is automatically made the project administrator. Only the project administrator can re-assign the project administrator role to another individual. If the project administrator is leaving the company, ensure they re-assign the role to another team member. Note that all authorization levels can submit the project for review. Contact LEED Coach Canada if you require assistance.
- If you have registered a project under the incorrect rating system or version, you cannot correct this yourself through LEED Online; you will require assistance from LEED Coach Canada. Your project’s registration fees must be paid before the rating system can be corrected. Once the fees have been paid, please email LEED Coach Canada for assistance.
- When generating the invoice for registration fees, the default contact information on the invoice will be the person logged into the project profile in LEED Online. Make sure to enter the correct owner company information on the invoice. Once the invoice has been generated, you cannot correct it and you will need to contact LEED Coach Canada for assistance.
- Please ensure that if you are a specialist member of the CaGBC, the email address you are using to register projects in LEED Online is the email address that is linked to your CaGBC membership. This will make sure you get the member rate for registration and certification fees.
- Note that all Canadian v4 and v4.1 projects are submitted in LEED Online and receive a USGBC ID number. Each project also receives a CaGBC project number, which is only assigned so that the project is included in the CaGBC project database.
LEED v4 July Addenda
The LEED v4 July Addenda included a few key templates, forms and calculators:
New Policy and Plan templates for LEED v4.1 O+M projects
New v4 Forms and calculators:
Addenda tables were created for LEED v4.1 BD+C and ID+C which added Global Green TAG PHD labels as an acceptable Material Ingredient Reporting program.
New Pilot credits:
Group Projects (previously Multiple Building Projects)
It can sometimes be confusing to determine the LEED project boundary for projects with multiple buildings on the site. Under LEED v4 and v4.1, Minimum Program Requirement #2: Must use reasonable LEED boundaries specifies when the LEED project boundary may include other buildings. If the LEED project boundary includes another small building (under 1,000 ft2/93 m2) which is not certifiable, such as a guard station, the building can be included or excluded from the certification at the project team’s discretion, so long as it is done consistently. However, any certifiable buildings within the boundary must be included as part of a group certification and documented as a single LEED application. The group project will receive one certification and rating for the entire group. To exclude other certifiable buildings on site from the project, the LEED project boundary must be drawn such that only the certifying building is within the boundary.
If the project team wishes to include multiple certifiable buildings within the project boundary and have a single certification for two or more buildings on the site, follow the LEED Campus Guidance for Projects on a Shared Site to determine eligibility for using the Group Approach. Note that a group project certification must meet all the following criteria:
- Design and Construction project buildings must be under the same construction contract and constructed at the same time.
- Operations and maintenance project buildings must be under the same ownership and management and share the same performance period. All buildings must also share the same space type.
- All buildings must use the same rating system and the same compliance paths for all prerequisites and credits.
- Calculations and documentation for all credits and prerequisites pursued must represent the entire site and all buildings within the LEED project boundary.
- Each building in the group project must independently qualify for the chosen LEED Rating System.
If you have determined that your project meets the criteria for a group project certification, be sure to register the group project properly in LEED Online by indicating that the project is a group certification project, and enter the number of buildings. Ensure that the gross floor area represents all buildings included in the project so that the fees are calculated accurately. While the fees are calculated separately for a group certification, the benefit to project teams is streamlined documentation submission when there are multiple buildings within the certification.
Guidance on credit achievement for group projects can be found in Appendix C and D of the above LEED Campus Guidance, or through the LEED v4 Reference Guides, under Further Explanations / Project Type Variations for each credit. Note that not all credits can be documented as if the building was one. Some credits must be documented separately for each structure, such as LEED v4 BD+C LTc Access to Quality Transit.
(Note the above guidance is specific to LEED v4/v4.1 for Canadian projects. For group / multiple building projects under LEED Canada New Construction or Core & Shell, see the LEED Canada Reference for Green Building Design and Construction 2009 introduction. For LEED Canada EB:O&M 2009, see the Application Guide for Multiple Building Projects in LEED Canada EB:O&M.)
If you mistakenly register a group project as an individual project, please contact LEED Coach Canada to deactivate the incorrect registration and redo the registration as a group project.
April addenda for LEED v4 D+C and O+M
The USGBC released the LEED rating system and reference guide quarterly addenda on April 10, 2020, including reference guide corrections for LEED v4 D+C and O+M rating systems, a new LEED Interpretation, five new Pilot credits and some updated resources. LEED v4 reference guide corrections for D+C and O+M clarify allowable exclusions for end-use connected loads for EA credit Advanced Energy Metering. For further information, the April 10, 2020 Addenda tables for LEED v4 BD+C, ID+C and O+M can be found in the Resources section of the USGBC website and selecting the Addenda filter.
LEED Interpretation 10499 for LEED v4 BD+C and O+M projects, EA prerequisite Building-Level Energy Metering, addresses how to exclude energy consumption of electric vehicles for commuter vehicles, privately owned cars and busses that use electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) provided by the project. Note that the exclusions are only allowed if the EVSE is separately sub-metered, and cannot be applied for any electric vehicles used on-site (e.g. electric fork lifts, etc.).
Highlights of the new Pilot credits include Alternative Performance Rating Method for LEED v4 ID+C: Commercial Interiors, Advanced Transportation Monitoring Systems for LEED v4.1 BD+C: New Construction and Advanced Transportation Monitoring for LEED v4.1 O+M: Existing Buildings.
The April Addenda also included updates and bug fixes to the LEED v4.1 Minimum Energy Performance and Rainfall Events Calculators.
Forms for LEED v4.1 credit substitutions
With the release of the new LEED v4.1 sample forms (found in the right sidebar of LEED Online), the “Process for attempting credit substitutions” section of the LEED v4.1 Beta Guides have been revised to include specific direction on how to submit the new forms.
For all the details, refer to the LEED v4.1 BD+C, and LEED v4.1 ID+C Addenda Tables, and for a step-by-step guide to using sample forms for v4.1 credit substitutions, refer to this article.
Key Submission Steps in LEED Online
Is your project ready to submit for certification? As LEED Online is new to many project teams, we have outlined the steps involved.
- Have you ensured Project Information is complete, providing all submittal requirements as per the PI Form?
- Have you uploaded all required documentation and Excel calculators?
- Is the gross floor area consistent throughout the project documentation?
1) “READY FOR REVIEW”
Once you have all documentation uploaded, there is a grey checkmark to the left of the credit name which marks the credit as “Ready to Review”. After selecting the grey checkmark, the checkmark will turn green and the drop down in the credit row will say “Ready for Review”.
2) “SUBMITTING FOR REVIEW” – STEP 1
Once all prerequisites and credits that you plan to submit are marked “Ready for Review”, press the “Submit for Review” button at the top of the page.
3) “SUBMITTING FOR REVIEW” – STEP 2
There is an important verification step: you need to confirm the submittal by reviewing the credits marked ready for review, and then you can click the ”Submit” button at the top of the page.
Once you have completed the above steps, your required payment will be linked to the gross floor area provided in LEED Online. Your certification review will start once payment is complete.
If you experience difficulties submitting your project for review, please feel free to contact LEED Coach Canada at LEEDCoach@gbcicanada.ca.
Check your points! Three things to watch for in the Credits tab in LEED Online
1 Submitting for final review? Be sure to verify in LEED Online that you are attempting enough points to certify (Certified level starts at 40 points). LEED Online includes denied points in the overall “attempted” score, so subtract those points to ensure you are applying with a sufficient amount.
2 Pay special attention to multi-point credits, such as Indoor Water Use Reduction.
If you need to adjust the number of points attempted in a multi-point credit, you can do so in the “Thresholds” tab by simply selecting the appropriate threshold. This allows your project team to accurately track your final score.
3 Regional priority points are automatically calculated in the overall attempted score, and if earned, included in the awarded total. In the credits tab look for the regional priority icon on the far-right which changes from gray to orange if earned.
Precertification in LEED Online
Each month we’re highlighting an interesting question you posed to LEED Coach Canada regarding LEED v4/v4.1. LEED Coach Canada is supported by a collaborative team of professionals with diverse technical backgrounds located across Canada. For insightful answers to your LEED questions, email LEEDCoach@gbcicanada.ca.
Question: What is precertification and why is this pathway selected in LEED Online?
Amanda Ashmore, LEED Reviewer, answers: The default selection in the Timeline tab of a BD+C project in LEED Online is to pursue the precertification pathway and this is taking some by surprise. Precertification is a review pathway available for an additional fee to all LEED v4 BD+C projects as well as O+M projects pursuing the performance path. This optional additional review stage helps project teams determine which credits and prerequisites are likely to be achieved during the full certification review. The results can be used to demonstrate a commitment to LEED and to help market the unique green features of a project to attract tenants and financiers. Precertification does not shorten the full certification review that is required in order to earn LEED certification.
LEED Canada projects were not offered the option of precertification and therefore this term will be new to many. Be sure to check that the certification pathway option reflected in the Timeline tab in LEED Online is correct for your project so the appropriate LEED forms will be available on the Credits tab. Teams can toggle the certification pathway option to change to the Design and Construction, or Standard review pathways as they apply to the rating system of the project. Please feel free to send any questions to: LEEDCoach@gbcicanada.ca.
If your project has elected to pursue precertification, in most cases the LEED forms will not be available in LEED Online. Instead, your project will complete and upload the Precertification Worksheet along with any supporting documentation, note the appropriate prerequisites and credits as ready for review on the “credits” tab, and then submit for review. Once achieved, precertification is valid for three years.
LEED Coach Canada: Market-Specific Support for LEED Projects
LEED Coach Canada provides bilingual, coast-to-coast, market-specific support for your Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects. With LEED Coach Canada, GBCI Canada applies the expertise we've developed since CaGBC first published a Canadian adaptation of LEED in 2004.
Offered through GBCI Canada, LEED Coach Canada support staff are subject-matter experts who know the pulse of the Canadian market. As LEED v4 reviewers, they accurately represent Canadian needs when it comes to the development of Alternative Compliance Paths and in the evolution of the rating systems such as LEED v4.1.
If you are working on a LEED project and have questions, LEED Coach Canada is here for you. We provide prompt service, with responses generally within five business days--and delivered from the certification body that will be reviewing your LEED project.
For more information on the LEED Coach Canada program, reach out to LEEDCoach@gbcicanada.ca.
Dive In – Successful LEED v4.1 Credit Substitutions
Many have expressed an interest in the flexibility and improvements offered by LEED v4.1, but their current projects may not be at a stage where it is suitable to upgrade entirely to the latest version. However, all BD+C and ID+C v4.1 prerequisites and credits are available for substitution by LEED v4 projects - see the Beta Guides for special direction on substituting select credits.
As the beta rating systems are a pilot, LEED v4 project teams are encouraged to implement LEED v4.1 strategies a la carte as they suit the projects. This provides a chance for the Canadian market to use their first-hand project experience to inform and accelerate the development of the future balloted requirements. Just a reminder that feedback can be provided at any time to LEED Coach Canada.
The LEED v4 reviewers have recently seen an uptake in LEED v4.1 strategies substituted on LEED v4 projects, especially when they offer additional assurance or contingency to teams that are submitting their first LEED v4 project. The team at Prairie Architects Inc. had already received the preliminary certification review report for their project when LEED v4.1 was released. They were excited at the opportunities the changes would open up and, even between reviews, were able to adjust their approach in order to submit for final review substituting four credits.
Alara Matsyk, Sustainable Buildings Coordinator on the project, noted that the changes to the Building Product Disclosure and Optimization - Sourcing of Raw Materials credit in LEED v4.1 in particular, gave additional recognition for the work the team had put into materials reuse. "While it was only one point gained for that credit, every point counts," Matsyk added. "While we weren't able to take advantage of very many v4.1 updates, it looks promising for future Manitoba projects. We felt in general that the industry was being listened to, and are looking forward to further positive changes in this v4.1 beta version." Read more about Prairie Architects' Winnipeg offices, now LEED v4 ID+C: CI Platinum certified.
What’s new in LEED v4.1 BD+C and ID+C – IP Credit Integrative Process
The changes to IP Credit: Integrative Process allow project teams more flexibility in demonstrating their integrative approach to the decision-making process. The credit intent remains the same and is aimed at supporting early analysis of relationships between building systems and disciplines within the project team; however, the documentation requirements have been updated. Previously, project teams were required to complete a detailed worksheet to describe the owner’s project requirements, assessments for the basis of design and outcomes in construction. In LEED v4.1, the team must provide a letter to describe the impact of the integrated approach in terms of improving interaction between the project team members and the outcome for the project. The letter must include a separate summary for each issue area analyzed and describe how the analysis informed decisions. The letter should be a team effort; guided by the Integrative Process Facilitator, signed by all principal project team members and made available to all key stakeholders. This added flexibility encourages involvement from all members of the project team in the discovery phase.
To earn the credit in LEED v4.1, energy and water-related systems must be assessed. Teams can earn an Exemplary Performance point for analyzing project goals through an additional lens to demonstrate the outcomes and benefits of integrative process. Additional areas include site selection, social equity, health and well-being, or another topic relevant to the project.
Are there exemptions for small incomplete areas in LEED v4?
Under LEED Canada NC 2009, project teams have benefitted from an exemption for small tenanted areas in their projects, where they had difficulty enforcing requirements through mandatory lease agreements. This exemption for 10% of the floor area (20% in mixed-use projects) was outlined in the LEED Canada Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction 2009 and further clarified in CIR 976.
LEED Interpretation (LI) 10102 has recently been updated to allow similar guidance to be applied to LEED v4. Generally, any incomplete spaces in LEED BD+C v4 projects (with the exception of Core and Shell) are required to follow the direction in the Getting Started section of the LEED BD+C v4Reference Guide to use tenant guidelines or owner commitment letters. This information was also outlined in November 2017 issue of the LEED Technical Bulletin. The allowance in LI 10102 notes:
For the ease of documentation, project buildings where up to 10% of the building gross square footage or 20,000 gross square footage (whichever is smaller) contains incomplete space, will not be required to provide an Owner’s Letter of Commitment or Tenant Guidelines during the LEED certification submittal. These projects are required to comply with all other provisions outlined in this LEED Interpretation.
However, similar to LEED Canada NC 2009, this exemption does not apply to any prerequisites and credits with established baselines (for example, Indoor Water Use Reduction and Minimize/Optimize Energy Performance). As explained in the LI, the proposed case must be held equivalent to the baseline for the incomplete spaces, except where binding lease agreements can be provided.
How to Accelerate Your LEED v4 Certification
Every LEED project has the potential to certify after only the preliminary review; the CaGBC reviewers would like to get you there. The most persistent theme amongst the LEED v4 project submissions is missing documentation, which extends the review process adding time and effort for project teams. Unlike the LEED Canada review process that Canadian practitioners are familiar with, LEED v4 does not have a “Completeness Check”. Instead, projects use the LEED Online platform and once the submission and payment have been received the review begins right away. If the documentation submitted is incomplete, the review could be put on hold to request additional information, thus causing delays. In most cases, missing documentation results in a lost opportunity for the reviewer to request any necessary clarification, leading to a greater chance the prerequisite or credit could be denied.
Before submitting for certification project teams are encouraged to verify that all required documentation outlined in the LEED Form for each prerequisite and credit has been uploaded to LEED Online. To avoid pending credits and ensure a successful preliminary review:
- Complete the Project Information (PI) documentation. Pay special attention to include information on occupancy and the building floor area, upload a site plan noting the LEED boundary, and provide photos and drawings of the project inside and out.
- Upload all energy simulation documentation. Review the documentation outlined in the LEED Form for EAp Minimum Energy Performance ensuring that both the simulation input and output reports for the proposed and baseline models have been provided, as well as the completed Minimum Energy Performance Calculator.
- Identify all relevant details and use them consistently throughout the submission. Project teams should refer to the Getting Started section of the Reference Guide, specifically the Maintaining Consistency in the Application subsection to confirm characteristics such as occupancy calculations, incomplete spaces, or tenant areas have been treated appropriately.
- Provide all completed calculators in Excel. Calculators are found under the “Resources” tab in the Credit Library where required to demonstrate compliance, for example WEp Indoor Water Use Reduction and EQp Minimum Indoor Air Quality Performance. Review the Instructions tab to be sure that each usage group or system has been entered.
Looking for more insight into what LEED v4 reviewers are looking for? The CaGBC has recently released a Reviewer Tips for LEED v4 On Demand course which highlights typical issues seen during reviews and provides strategies to avoid challenges commonly encountered by project teams.
Reviewer Insight: Three Helpful LEED Interpretations for LEED v4 Projects
The following three LEED Interpretations applicable to the LEED v4 rating systems have caught the eyes of CaGBC reviewers and may be useful to Canadian project teams:
LEED Interpretation #10474
Released July 2, 2018, this Interpretation addresses Canada’s legalization of marijuana use. As per the LEED Interpretation, the smoking of cannabis is considered a form of smoking for all intents and purposes for both the interior and exterior smoking provisions of the LEED v4 BD+C, ID+C and O+M, EQ prerequisite Environmental Tobacco Smoke Control.
LEED Interpretation #10425
This LEED Interpretation, released October 1, 2015, clarifies that a generic industry-wide Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) can be used to document up to ten products for LEED v4 BD+C and ID+C MR credit Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Sourcing of Raw Materials, Option 1, Environmental Product Declarations. Please note that each product declared must have separately reported impacts within the EPD, and as with all industry-wide EPDs, documentation demonstrating that the manufacturer is explicitly recognized as a participant by the program operator must be provided.
LEED Interpretation # 10411
This LEED Interpretation, released April 1, 2015, applies to LEED v4 BD+C, ID+C, O+M and ND Sustainable Sites credit Heat Island Reduction and allows for the use of typical solar reflectance values that can be used in lieu of project-specific testing data for standard non-roof materials. See the typical values listed below:
Gray cement concrete - Initial Solar Reflectance: 0.26, Three-Year Aged Solar Reflectance*: 0.18
White cement concrete - Initial Solar Reflectance: 0.70, Three-Year Aged Solar Reflectance*: 0.35
Asphalt concrete - Initial Solar Reflectance: 0.05, Three-Year Aged Solar Reflectance*: 0.10
*Three-year aged SR values are based on no cleaning.
For complete details about each LEED Interpretation please refer to the Addenda database.
Update on French language support for LEED v4
Hot of the (electronic) press, the LEED v4 Building Design + Construction Reference Guide is now available in French on the LEED v4 Resources page.
As many now know, GBCI Canada is conducting the certification reviews of LEED v4 projects. Certification review reports are only available in English for the time being, however, project teams are able to provide their submission material in French.
While LEED Online will remain in English only, it is our goal that language not be a hurdle to LEED certification. Technical inquiries in French, as well as any other questions, can be directed to customer service email@example.com.
Why is my project confidential within the USGBC and CaGBC project directories?
People often wonder why their project is listed as confidential within the USGBC and CaGBC project database. The selection to indicate that your project is private is initially made in the registration form in LEED Online. If you indicate “this project is private" it will not be listed in these publicly available LEED project directories. This use of the word private does not indicate that the project is privately held or a private residence but rather that the project details, such as the name and address, should be held confidential. Note that, a private project may not be advertised to the general public as being registered or certified. You can update this selection within the project details in LEED Online at any time.
Register Canadian LEED v4 projects in LEED Online
Registration is now administered by GBCI Canada through LEED Online, a platform used by project teams to coordinate and expedite the documentation and certification process.
Organizations that are CaGBC Specialist Members benefit from reduced registration and certification fees. Not a member? Become one today.
For information on the many rating systems available, please see the LEED v4 Rating System Selection Guidance. LEED for Homes and Midrise projects must contact a Provider prior to registration; Providers guide the project through the process of seeking certification and provide on-site inspections. To register a project for the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, please contact GBCI Canada customer service directly.
We will be happy to answer any questions you might have. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (toll-free) 1-866-941-1184.
Reminder – Submit your project for preliminary review within 2 years
You’ve successfully registered, designed and built your project and collected all necessary documentation. Your project has achieved substantial completion, and is now occupied. Now it’s time to submit your LEED v4 BD+C or ID+C project for preliminary review (preliminary standard review or preliminary construction review). Remember to submit no later than two (2) years after substantial completion. LEED v4 and v4.1 O+M projects are required to submit within 60 days of the end of their performance period.
FAQ – Is my project required to follow addenda?
The October Technical Bulletin discussed the usefulness of the LEED v4 Addenda but which LEED v4 projects are required to follow the addenda?
Answer - Project teams must follow addenda published prior to the date of registration of that project; however addenda published after project registration is not required to be followed. Due to the helpfulness of addenda, though, it is strongly recommended that project teams follow any addenda published after the date of registration.
As always each addenda (cumulative or each individual) can be found on the resources section of the USGBC website. For project teams that prefer hard copies or PDFs of reference guides, be sure to download and refer to each new addendum as they are released for current direction. Those using the Online Reference Guide for LEED v4 will find the addenda automatically included.
For more information on LEED v4 addenda, please see the October LEED Technical Bulletin.
Incomplete spaces in BD+C
LEED v4 BD+C projects are required to have at least 60% of the gross floor area completed at the time of certification. Historically, project teams were allowed to pursue LEED Canada NC 2009 if at least 50% of the gross floor area was completed at the time of certification. However, under LEED v4, no more than 40% may be incomplete, unless the project is certifying under the LEED BD+C: Core and Shell (CS) rating system.
BD+C: Core & Shell
The scope of Core and Shell (CS) projects are limited; as a result, only portions of the project within the LEED scope are included in credit calculations. If a project team wishes to apply for credits that are beyond the scope of design and construction of the LEED project, a tenant sales and lease agreement, signed by future tenants, must be provided. The lease agreement must be binding and include terms on how credit requirements will be met by the tenant. An unsigned or sample lease agreement is not acceptable. For example to take credit for savings from not yet installed plumbing fixtures for WE credit Indoor Water Use Reduction in a tenant space of a CS project, the project team must submit a signed and executed legally binding tenant sales and lease agreement. If a signed and executed legally binding tenant sales and lease agreement is not provided, project teams must assume that the as yet installed plumbing fixtures have baseline water consumption rates. Please note that lease agreements are not required in order to pursue CS certification. They are only used if a project is aiming to earn additional points for measures that are considered outside of the project design and construction scope that will be fit-out by a future tenant.
For more information refer to the Incomplete Spaces and Tenant Sales and Lease Agreement portions under Maintaining Consistency in the Getting Started section in the Credit Library. Also be sure to refer to the Rating System Variations portion of the Further Explanation Section within each credit, for credit specific guidance.
All BD+C adaptions EXCEPT CS
For incomplete spaces intended to be finished by tenants, unlike LEED Canada NC 2009, project teams are not required to provide copies of mandatory lease agreements, unless attempting to claim savings. Instead, submit a set of nonbinding tenant design and construction guidelines, with a brief explanation of the project circumstances. Similar to CS above, for prerequisites with established baselines (e.g., WE Prerequisite Indoor Water Use, EA Prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance) and the credits dependent on the calculations in the prerequisites, the proposed design must be equivalent to the baseline for the incomplete spaces. Project teams that wish to claim environmental performance or benefit beyond the baseline for incomplete spaces must have binding Tenant Lease and Sales Agreements (e.g., signed by the future tenant).
For incomplete spaces intended to be finished later by the owner, similar to LEED Canada NC 2009, a letter of commitment, signed by the owner, indicating that the remaining incomplete spaces will satisfy the requirements of each prerequisite and credit achieved by this project must be submitted. However, unlike LEED Canada NC 2009, this letter may cover the commitment in general terms and need not address each prerequisite or credit individually.
For more information refer to the Incomplete Spaces and Tenant Sales and Lease Agreement portions under Maintaining Consistency in the Getting Started section in the Credit Library.
LEED Credit Library (the online Reference Guide) – new features available for FREE
Looking for credit specific requirements and submittal tips? Refer to the LEED Credit Library online… for FREE. The Credit Library contains each credit from each version of each rating system. Once a given credit is selected the Intent and Requirements can be found on the Language tab. The Language tab also includes sample LEED Forms, any SITES-LEED equivalencies and Pilot alternative compliance paths. The Resources tab now includes a lot of very useful submittal tips, calculators, links to third party guidance documents and standards and informational videos. The Addenda tab includes any relevant reference guide corrections, LEED Interpretations, and LEED Form updates.
Curious about LEED v4, but not sure where to start? Review the entire Getting Started, Minimum Program Requirements, Rating System Selection Guidance sections of the BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Homes, and ND LEED v4 Reference Guides online for FREE. The Getting Started sections are particularly helpful when looking for direction about project boundaries, occupancy, incomplete spaces, Tenant Sales and Lease Agreement, and the Campus Program. They typically address issues that span an entire rating system.
Then move on to the Credit Category Overviews sections of the BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Homes, and ND LEED v4 Reference Guides also online for FREE. The Credit Category Overview sections are particularly helpful when looking for information about qualifying products and material contributions for the Materials and Resources credits, or information about occupied vs non occupied spaces, and floor area calculations for the Indoor Environmental Quality credits. They typically address issues that span an entire credit category.
Once you are ready to get into the details and start using LEED v4, the online Reference Guide will be your most valuable resource. Complete with Step by Step Guidance, Further Explanation, Calculations, and Changes from LEED 2009, the Guide provides the necessary information to inform your project’s design. An annual subscription to the Web-based Reference Guide can be purchased which will unlock the Guide tab, providing access to all the information contained in the printed LEED v4 Reference Guides. For the price of a single subscription, users have access to all LEED v4 rating system families.
- Submittal Tips from LEED v4 Reviewers are now available for free in Online Credit Library, under Resources.
- Useful explanatory videos are also available now for free, like this example from Rainwater Management.
The USGBC releases LEED Addenda quarterly which includes clarifications, corrections and new interpretations for each LEED rating system. The most recent addenda were released October 2nd, 2017. Each addenda (cumulative or each individual) can be found on the resources section of the USGBC website. For project teams that prefer hard copies or PDFs of reference guides, be sure to download and refer to each new addendum as they are released for current direction.
If you didn’t get the chance to read last quarter’s addenda, for improved convenience, rating system and reference guide corrections are incorporated into the LEED credit library with each addendum release. Project teams need only refer to one resource when using the online guide and will never miss a correction.
Receive early feedback on your LEED v4 project
Curious how your LEED v4 Design and Construction project will fare? Not sure if it’s on track to meet your certification targets? Submit it under Split Review! A split review is available to all LEED v4 BD+C and ID+C projects through LEED Online. Submit all design prerequisites and credits for review at the end of the design phase (before the project is substantially complete) and incorporate the design review outcomes into the construction of your project at a time when changes can more readily be made. Then submit the remaining construction prerequisites and credits at the end of the construction phase, lessening the volume of work for your team of professionals at project completion. Note that design credits may still be submitted with the construction submission, if desired.
Interested, but not sure which are design and which are construction credits? Refer to Table 2, in the Getting Started section of the LEED v4 BD+C and ID+C Reference Guides. You can read the entire Getting Started section of the BD+C and ID+C Reference Guides online.
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