Green tools for LEED users: Project certification options | U.S. Green Building Council
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Posted in LEED
Published on
Written by
Posted in LEED

We know that no two companies are the same, and each has its own unique culture, needs, goals and processes. With that in mind, we want to make LEED work for you.

Whether you're connected to the project from the building owner/manger side or you're a green building service provider offering expertise that helps the project towards sustainability, we have an offering meant to help you reach your goals.

Check out the options below that will help you enhance your business and apply LEED efficiently. 

Project certification options

In addition to individual building certification, LEED also includes certification paths structured for organizations seeking certification for multiple buildings. Paths include:

  • LEED volume certification
  • LEED campus certification 

LEED volume certification

Volume certification was created to meet the needs of companies and organizations that are ready to apply LEED across a portfolio of similar buildings. Using this option streamlines the LEED certification process by focusing on the similarities in building design, operations and delivery—no matter where they are in the world.

For organizations that certify multiple buildings within a given timeframe, this option offers valuable economies of scale.

Volume certification is available to both new construction and existing buildings. 

Consider LEED volume certification if you:

  • Build, own, or operate buildings that are similar
  • Have established green building practices for building design and construction or operations and maintenance processes
  • Have a large number of projects to be submitted for LEED certification
  • Feel efficiency and corporate social responsibility are important 

Using this method, you’ll develop a prototype that can be applied across your building portfolio by submitting documentation through LEED Online and participating in the review process with your dedicated GBCI review team.

From there, you’ll submit projects for certification based on your prototype and implement ongoing quality-assurance and education measures.

Start by working with USGBC to determine if the program is a good fit for your team. Once you decide to pursue volume certification, you’ll be assigned a USGBC account manager and LEED Coach who will guide you through the process beginning with an orientation with your entire team. 

Current volume participants include: 

  • Contractors and Builders: DuBox Precast Products Industrial
  • Educational Institutions: American University
  • Financial Institutions: Bank of America, Citicorp, PNC and Wells Fargo
  • Food Service: Ahold USA, Chick-fil-A, Falabella, Kum & Go, McDonald’s and Starbucks Coffee Company
  • Government: California Department of General Services, City of San Jose, CA and U.S. General Services Administration
  • Hospitality: Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts
  • IT and Communications: Salesforce.com
  • Manufacturing: Mars Inc.
  • Property Managers: Bentall Kennedy, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield and Transwestern
  • Retail: Best Buy, Inditex, Kohl’s, Target Corporation, Verizon Wireless, and Walgreens
  • Real Estate Providers: Brookfield Properties, Columbia Properties, DLF Limited, Ford Land, Hines, JBG Companies, Kilroy Realty Corporation, Parkway Properties, Unico, Vasakronan and Vornado
  • Warehouse & Distribution: Kalos, Liberty Property Trust and ProLogis

Campus certification

Campus certification is available for multiple buildings on a single site and offers a number of options to help project owners determine the best, most cost effective way to reach their goals. In some cases it’s one single certification that applies to many buildings and in others it might be reviewing credits once to be utilized by a number of certifications.

Campus certification can be used with any of the LEED commercial rating systems.

A campus can be any shared site; it doesn’t have to be a traditional university or corporate campus. This certification path is has been used by hospitals, universities, commercial property management and even a zoo.

There are two approaches available within this option:

  • The group approach allows multiple, separate buildings to certify as one project that shares a single certification. 
  • The campus approach helps buildings take credit for shared attributes on a site and achieve separate LEED certification for each project, building space or group.

Consider LEED campus certification if you:

  • Have two or more buildings located on a single site, that are controlled by a single entity
  • Would benefit from projects being able to share LEED credits and strategies with one another
  • Are constructing multiple buildings that are very similar
  • Manage projects that follow the same policies and plans or share the same vendors

Download our Green Tools guide to learn more

USGBC Articles can be accessed in the USGBC app for iOS or Android on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
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Total 2 commentsLeave a comment

ARCADIS
Hello, What type audit is required for volume cert assuming a similar prototype? Thanks, paul
U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Paul - Volume certification relies on audits instead of the review procedures outlined for individual projects. The first three volume projects and a select number thereafter are randomly selected for audit. The audit process ensures that the volume projects are in compliance with LEED standards and verify that the quality control and education processes are working effectively. The documentation submitted for audit review would have been introduced and approved during the prototype precertification phase. For more information on volume certification, please visit the Guide to LEED Certification: Volume Supplement at http://www.usgbc.org/cert-guide/volume If you are interested in pursuing volume certification or have additional questions, please feel free to contact us with that information at http://www.usgbc.org/contact We look forward to speaking with you!

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