It is highly recommended a joint meeting of all those involved in the project (owner, architects, engineers, contractors, facility management, etc..) in the early stages of the project, in order to evaluate and establish the project objectives, and the level of certification sought. An early integrated coordination favors the appearance of synergies between the solutions to be adopted, favoring the overall performance of the building, while avoiding costly changes in the future.
Here are, in summary, the steps to be performed to achieve LEED certification:
1 – REGISTER THE PROJECT
First, after determining what LEED certification best suits us, the LEED project administrator must electronically register it in the database of certificate candidates (LEEDONLINE). This registry serves as a statement of interest in certifying the project. From the previous site is where we will manage the entire certification process: we will send the necessary information to the USGBC for review, we’ll add supporting documents required to meet each of the credits, also the different team members will be coordinated from there, we will be able to monitor the certification process… and so on.
Registering a project for later certification involves a fee, whose value can be found on the following GBCI page (For example, for a new building record the fixed rate is $1200). The registered projects are listed in the online database of LEED.
In this first step, we will select the rating system that fits our building, according to the characteristics of the project. The available options are:
2- DOCUMENTATION PROCESS
The assignment of points among the credits is based on potential environmental impacts and human benefits of each credit with respect to a group of impact categories. LEED 2009 uses TRACI environmental impact categories of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a basis for the weight of each credit.
The following is a sample Scorecard list, with the score for each of the credits (in this case for New Construction v.2009). For each LEED prerequisite and credit that we intend to obtained, we shall fill out all the documents requested in the templates offered in LEEONLINE, and any additional documentation that is deemed necessary. The project team should perform the calculations required to justify all the data from each of the sections that must be completed. Models of templates are available for inspection at the USGBC.
By way of example, here you can see some of these templates:
3- SUBMISSION OF DATA AND CERTIFICATION APPLICATION
With the information collected, it will proceed to submit the documents for review through LEEDONLINE. Are prerequisites to request the review:
– The justification for the minimum program requirements
– The fulfillment of the prerequisites for each category
– Apply for a minimum of 40 credits
– Have paid the certification fee
The certification fee varies depending on the rating system used and the surface of the project (can be found on the website of GBCI). For a building up to 4645m2 (50,000 square feet), that would like to be certified under LEED New Construction 2009, the fee would amount to $ 2,750.
The USGBC, through the GBCI, will comprehensively verify the compliance and justification of the prerequisites and credits, according to the information provided through LEEDONLINE, giving a final score and, if applicable, the corresponding official certificate.
A certified project list is published on the GBCI website.