If at any point during the LEED certification process something is unclear, the project team can submit a Credit Interpretation Request (CIR) to receive technical and administrative guidance from the GBCI.
Here is some general information regarding Credit Interpretation Requests that you need to know for the exam:
- CIRs can be submitted anytime after a project is registered.
- People on the project team are the ones who decide when a CIR is needed, not the GBCI.
- CIRs can only be submitted by project teams associated with a registered project.
- The entire CIR process is done through LEED-Online.
Next, here is a list of specific information regarding the CIR that you also need to know:
- $220 per CIR that is submited. (Yes – two hundred and twenty USD)
- Each submitted CIR should only address a clarification request for one specific LEED requirement
- The CIR submittal package must include only the essential project strategy and background.
- It should NOT be formatted as a letter. 600 words maximum.
- It should NOT include any confidential project info.
- It should NOT state the credit name or contact information. This is already known because it’s done via LEED-Online, which has this information already.
- It should NOT include any attachments
- CIRs NEVER awards points or guarantee that points will be awarded for credits where CIRs are submitted for.
Now, for ALL RATING SYSTEMS, which includes the older rating systems: All CIR rulings that are responses to requests submitted after June 26th, 2009 will be project specific. This means that when a project team asks the GBCI for clarification using a CIR, their answer only pertains to that particular credit for that particular project at that particular time.
Furthermore, this means that rulings are not precedent setting and will not apply to any projects other than the one it was submitted for, even if it was the same type of project, or a request by the same project team.
In addition, the CIR ruling database that was created for project certification under the older rating systems (LEED NCv2.2, for example) cannot be used or referred to for projects certifying under LEED v3.