Photo credit: dsearis via Flickr
Happy December, everyone! As a member of USGBC’s Technical Customer Service team, my goal is to help project teams understand LEED programs. In this installment of our “Ask Jeremy” series, I’ll be discussing how Regional Priority (RP) credits work and how to look up which RP credits are available. I’ll also be answering other common questions we receive regarding the RP credit program.
USGBC developed RP credits to incentivize the achievement of credits that address geographically specific environmental priorities. They are not new credits, but instead are existing LEED credits that are prioritized in a given area and earn an additional point if the prioritized credit itself is earned. They are only available to projects certifying under LEED 2009 rating systems, the most recent LEED rating systems. Each project has six RP credits available; however, project teams may earn only four of the six.
To search for which RP credits are available for a particular location, utilize the Regional Priority Credit Database. Credits will appear along with which option, threshold or path the project team must pursue to earn the additional point. If nothing is displayed in the threshold/path column, then the credit only needs to be earned through the option mentioned. If no threshold, path or option is mentioned, then the credit only needs to be earned.
Pursuing a RP credit is all done automatically in LEED Online. If a project team attempts a credit for which there is a RP point available, a symbol will appear in the RP column of the LEED Online Scorecard. It will appear gray, and once earned, it will turn orange. Remember that although six RP credits are available and may appear available in the LEED Online Scorecard, the project team can earn only four.
That’s a basic overview of RP credits and the process for achieving them. However, there are some additional miscellaneous questions we often receive:
Q: When I search the RP database, some credits appear more than once. Can I earn two RP points for one credit?
A: No, only one RP credit point can be awarded per credit. A credit will be listed multiple times if a RP credit can be earned through multiple options. A project team can earn the credit through any option displayed.
Q: Are RP credits available internationally?
A: Yes! To view the RP credits available for your international project, simply select your country from the drop-down menu when searching the RP Credit Database.
Q: Do RP credits take the place of exemplary performance or Innovation in Design (ID) points?
A: No. A project team can earn four RP credits in addition to the exemplary performance or ID credits earned for a project.
Q: RP credits are not being displayed for my project in LEED Online, and/or the RP Credit Database was unable to find my ZIP code. What should I do?
A: Log in to your account in LEED Online, and submit your issue by clicking “Feedback” at the top of the page. We will look into the issue and add the RP credits for your project.
If you have additional questions or issues regarding RP credits, please don’t hesitate to “Ask Jeremy” or one of my other team members by contacting us.
Green Building Certification Institute