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The LEED Submittal Process and Appeals

The LEED Submittal Process is a part of the overall LEED Application Process.

Specifically, it happens after project registration, after the project administrator assigned credits to project team members, and after those project team members fill out the respective LEED Credits Forms – which means the project is ready to submit this information to the GBCI for review.

Below is a checklist flow chart of exactly how the submittal process works:

  • For all rating systems (except LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance):
    • Each credit in the LEED rating system is either a design phase credit, or a construction phase credit. This information is shown to the project team in LEED-Online, which is different than in previous versions, where it was shown in the reference guide.
    • The submittal process can be split into two phases: a design review phase, then a construction review phase; or
    • The submittal process can just be one combined review.

Design Application Phase (which is optional)

  • A LEED review team will review the design phase credits only (submitted via LEED-Online). The reason this is here is because it allows the project team to submit credits early so that they can gauge whether or not those credits are on track for approval or not. It’s a courtesy review by the GBCI, which is usually taken advantage of.
  • Within 25 business days, the GBCI will mark the credits as either Anticipated, or Denied. Please note that no points are awarded during these initial design reviews.
  • The project team will then have 25 business days to request any confirmations from the GBCI regarding their review.
    • Within 15 days of that, the GBCI will issue a Final Design Review.
    • Project teams can then:
      • Accept the ruling and move into the construction application phase; or
      • Appeal and move into the design appeal phase.
        • Fee per appealed credit is $500.
        • Within 25 business days, the GBCI will again mark the credits as Anticipated or Denied. There is no clarification period during the appeal phase.
        • Again, the project team can:
          • Accept the ruling and move into the construction application phase; or
          • Appeal and move into the design appeal phase again.

Construction Application Phase

  • A LEED review team will review the design phase credits & construction phase credits (LEED-Online)
  • These credits can only be submitted after the project administrator has attempted all prerequisites and the minimum number of credits required for certification.
    • Within 25 business days, the GBCI will mark the credits as either Anticipated, or Denied. Please note that again – no points are awarded during these reviews.
    • The project team will then have 25 business days to request any confirmations from the GBCI regarding their review.
    • Within 15 days of that, the GBCI will issue a Final Design Review.
      • Project teams can then:
        • Accept the ruling and move into the certification / denial phase; or
        • Appeal and move into the construction appeal phase.
          • Fee per appealed credit is $500.
          • Within 25 business days, the GBCI will again mark the credits as Anticipated or Denied. There is no clarification period during the appeal phase.
            • Again, the project team can:
              • Accept the ruling and move into the certification / denial phase; or
              • Appeal and move into the construction appeal phase again.

Certified / Denial Phase

Here, after the Final Construction Review results are accepted, the project is either:

  1. LEED certified, at a certain certification level: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum
  2. Denied, at which point the project is closed and can no longer be reviews.

Because of this, project teams will do all necessary appeals and changes before getting to the certification / denial phase.

Now, during the entire LEED certification process, there may be a point where the project team has a question or needs clarification from the GBCI regarding a particular LEED strategy or requirement. If this happens, the project team must submit a Credit Interpretation Ruling, or CIR for short. For more information about CIRs, please click the link below:

Information about Credit Interpretation Rulings

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7 Comments On This Post

  1. I have a question about the Design Phase Review process: If a credit is not flagged for clarification in the initial design review, is it possible to revise/update that credit with other clarified credits for the 25 day “requesting of confirmations” response to GBCI (before a Final Design Review is issued)?

    Reply
  2. if one specific credit is complete, who will be responsible for the review? Project Admin or direct to CaGBC online?

    Reply
    • The project admin is responsible for submitting the completed credits (in the appropriate submittal phase), to the CaGBC online. Then, they will be reviewing it and getting back to the project team as far as their response.

      Reply
  3. Hi Pat

    Thanks very much for clarifying. You’re a great help.

    Reply
  4. what is the difference between proposed and baseline design?

    Reply
  5. If you change the approach of a credit after addressing comments of the design review phase and then in the final design review that credit was denied, can you request to submit clarifications instead of an appeal? Thanks.

    Reply
  6. i have question, if someone hires LEED Consultant for a project, Split Process- is he responsible till DESIGN PHASE uploading templates and documents only. who takes care about review comments and if we want to appeal some credit.
    During construction of project, contractor have hire separate LEED consultant or can hire same LEED Consultant.

    Reply

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