How to Accelerate Your LEED v4 Certification

Green Building Team on March 1, 2019

Rating System/Standard

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.