Group Projects (previously Multiple Building Projects)

Green Building Team on September 1, 2020

Rating System/Standard

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.