The LEED Application Process is the process by which a project becomes LEED certified. It’s essential for every LEED professional to understand, so that he or she is able to facilitate and streamline the application process during LEED certification. If you’re studying for either the LEED Green Associate Exam or a LEED Specialty Exam (or both), all of the following information is very important.
There are several parts to the LEED Application Process:
- Project Registration
- The LEED Score Card
- LEED Credit Forms or Credit Templates
- The Credit Submittal Process
- Credit Interpretation Requests (CIRs); and
The first thing a project does when applying for LEED certification is register with the GBCI. Registration is done online, and it establishes the point of contact between the project and the GBCI, which is important.
Project registration costs $450.00 for USGBC members, and $600.00 for non-members, regardless of the project size and rating system. Please note that registration fees are different than application fees, which we’ll talk about during the submittal process.
The person who registers the project automatically becomes the Project Administrator. This is an important role who becomes the main point of contact for the GBCI regarding the registered project. This person also invited new team members into the project team, and is the one who submits the completed credit templates.
“LEED-Online” is an online tool that the project team uses during the entire application process. Now, don’t be confused here. Access to LEED-Online is given to project teams after the project is registered. The confusing part is when people say that registration for LEED happens online, which is true, but the “LEED-Online” tool is only accessible after the project is registered.
Again, LEED Online is the tool that project teams use for LEED certification. It has everything the team needs under a Project Dashboard, which includes:
- A control panel which has the basic project details, the next steps to do, and a point summary for the project.
- A team administration area, where the project manager can invite team members to the project.
- An area for submitting credit interpretation rulings (CIRs)
- The LEED Scorecard, which we’ll talk about next
- LEED Credit Forms, which are the most important part about the LEED application process. It’s how the project teams enter data for each credit and submit them to the GBCI.
- A timeline which shows how far along the project is to certification.
Unfortunately, you must be working on a LEED certified project and invited by the project manager in order to access the LEED-Online tool, so I have no screenshots or examples that I can show you just yet.
LEED Score Card
The LEED Score Card is another tool that is located within LEED-Online. It’s basically a chart or checklist that is unique to the rating system that is being applied for (New Construction, Schools, Core & Shell, Interior Design, Operations and Maintenance, Homes, Neighborhood Development), which lists all of the prerequisites and credits and helps the project team determine exactly which credits the project team will pursue and what rating (certified, silver, gold or platinum) it will shoot for. Usually, the score card is filled out in a “design charette” type meeting where many of the people involved in the project collaborate with each other.
Here are some links to a couple examples of LEED Score Cards from previous versions of the exam on the net:
LEED Credit Forms / Templates
The LEED Credit Forms, also known as LEED Credit Templates, are used to submit the necessary credit information and data to the GBCI. Here’s how it works:
- There are separate credit forms, once for each prerequisite and credit within the particular LEED rating system.
- The project administrator assigns these individual credits (the one’s that are being attempted for LEED certification based on the LEED Score Card), to the project team members who are responsible for filling in the required data.
- Each credit’s requirements and data entry fields, which may include uploaded documentations or drawings, are completed by team member assigned to that particular credit via LEED-Online.
- The credit forms are submitted to the GBCI during the Submittal Process.
Sample LEED Credit Forms for LEED v3 have not yet been published. There are, however, samples from the previous versions of LEED which can be found below. Please note that these will look different for LEED version 3, but the format is similar.
The Submittal Process
I’ve broken down the information for the submittal process, as well as Credit Interpretation Requests and Appeals in a different page. Please click on the link below to be taken to information about the LEED submittal process.