New and Improved Way to Certify Multiple Buildings | U.S. Green Building Council
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Posted in LEED
Published on
Written by
Posted in LEED

In 2005, USGBC developed the application guidance for multiple buildings and buildings on a campus. Since then, we’ve continued to refine and expand both the document and the supporting tools.

The newest update includes two key features.

The first is Group Certification, which allows project teams with separate buildings that are substantially similar to certify as one project that shares a single certification. This is now available in addition to the existing Campus approach, which allows buildings to take credit for shared attributes on a site and achieve separate LEED certification for each project, building space or group.

The second feature comes in the form of LEED Online for Campus. Project teams using LEED 2009 for Campus Program projects have the added support of an interface that will:

  • Support a faster workflow
  • Streamline processes and approval across several projects
  • Provide a more flexible structure that facilitates collaboration across multiple project team members
  • Feature forms designed specifically for Campus projects based on the guidance provided in the Application Guide for Multiple Buildings and On-Campus Building Projects

Together, these new features add more flexibility and save project teams time as they certify multiple buildings.

Getting started (projects using LEED 2009)


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Total 24 commentsLeave a comment

LEED Project Manager, Indra Sistemas, S.A.
Hi, we are searching for the best way to certify a group of three existing buildings that are located in the same site and with the same ownership. Two of the buildings are occupied the same company and one of them by other company. The three buildings share underground parking, access and garden. Our question is: can we certify these buildings under the Campus approach for LEED EBOM v2009? The reason is that the owner is willing to certify the project, but the companies do not want to share the certificate.
Green Building Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Ignacio, Yes, existing buildings may use the 'campus approach' defined in the LEED Campus Guidance ( to obtain separate certifications & ratings, as long as they meet all the eligibility criteria described therein, particularly the bullet-points listed on page 5 of that document. Please also refer to the 'Additional Information for LEED-EBOM Projects' on page 13 of that document as well as the pertinent Appendix.
Senior Manager, LEAD Consultancy & Engg Services Ltd
Can we apply group certification for multiple CI projects under a single owner on the same campus?
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Yes, Nandana, You can apply group certification for multiple CI projects under a single owner on the same campus. Please refer to the Campus Guidance document cited in the above article ( for full eligibility details (pages 5 and 10, in particular). That said, if the spaces are within the same building & being fit-out under a single scope of work, you can usually certify them as a single LEED-CI project without utilizing the group approach. Please refer to pages 19-20 of the MPR Supplemental Guidance ( for specific criteria that must be met when certifying separate spaces within a larger, single building or tenant area.
Senior Sustainability Consultant, Taitem Engineering, PC
Our firm has been asked to assume the LEED consultant role on a very large development in Istanbul, Turkey. The previous architect is not longer with the firm and the new architect reached out to us, so we are coming a little late and I wanted to confirm a few things. The development has 5 multifamily buildings within the same development, but only registered under 1 LEED-NCv2.2 project. Previous architect set it up that all 5 buildings documentation, etc. can be included into one certification. Is this acceptable? Was there a previous "campus block" approach before 2009? Thanks!
Green Building Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Courtney - If the project is registered in a v2 rating system, you may proceed and use the 2005 Application Guide for Multiple Buildings and On-Campus Building Projects, which allows multiple buildings in one registration, as long as you meet all requirements outlined, and submit before the rating system sunset date. ( On page 6: "Certifying a group of new buildings as a package where the entire building set will be rated as a package and only one rating received For entities that construct a set of buildings at once or over a defined time period in a campus setting, certification of each building individually could result in excessive documentation, much of which would be duplicated between buildings. In this case the option of rating the entire building set may be the best choice. When certifying a set of buildings under the Application Guide, you may choose campus requirements and submittals in lieu of the standard LEED-NC requirements and submittals where unique aspects of the campus setting impact the credit affecting the buildings. The Application Guide provides the methods for calculations and submittals for credits that may be averaged across the set of buildings and defines which credits must be met by each individual building. Using the averaging techniques, where applicable, allows for one rating to be applied to the building set, thereby minimizing documentation. Identify the group of buildings with a single name for LEED registration and certification." Since Group projects can get quite complicated, if you have additional questions, kindly reach out to us at and select 'Certification Question'.
Vice President, Technical Solutions, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Neshat, Yes, the April 2014 version of the guidance is applicable to all projects for both LEED v2009 and LEED v4. You can use that version of the guidance for your project. Please let us know if you have other questions. Thanks!
Sustainability Consultant, Ramboll
Hello, I am currently working on a LEED NC - v2009 Multiple buildings project that was registered in Sept 2013. What document should i refer to as campus guidance. This page leads to a link with the campus guidance effective from April 2014. Can i use this for reference? Thanks
Director of LEED Support, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Nashat - It looks like Melissa's response didn't properly sync with your question, so I wasn't sure if you were notified that she responded: "Hi Neshat, Yes, the April 2014 version of the guidance is applicable to all projects for both LEED v2009 and LEED v4. You can use that version of the guidance for your project. Please let us know if you have other questions. Thanks!"
Sustainability Consultant, Ramboll
Thank you Megan I was not, Thanks for your response Melissa
Executive Associate, Heery International, Inc.
Your new website is not accessible much of the time. Why does it not work? I can only get access using Chrome. Why is that?
Digital Marketing Manager, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Glenn, we have not heard of anyone having these issues, but our IT team will reach out to you directly to help with any issues you're having.
Fentress Architects
I am looking for additional clarification on the "substantially similar" criteria for buildings in a Group Certification. Could someone point me in the right direction please. Thanks.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Deborah, Please note that buildings within a Group only have to be 'substantially similar' in the EBOM rating system/s In the D+C rating systems the buildings/spaces just have to qualify for the same particular rating system to pursue Group (along with the other qualifications listed in the AGMBC). The Glossary of the AGMBC ( defines it thusly: Substantially similar – For EBOM group certification, projects must contain buildings that function as a cohesive facility, such as a collection of dormitories or a corporate headquarters. In these cases, it is expected that all building are the same space type, but exceptions may be made for some projects with limited deviation, such as a corporate headquarters that has a separate cafeteria building that falls under the same central management and can legitimately be included as part of the group certification.
Project Manager, LEED Specialist, Interior Designer, SL+A INTERNATIONAL ASIA INC.
I am interested in the new LEED Online for Campus platform (I have worked with LEED Campus projects in LEED Online v3 already), however would like to know if the following example project is an appropriate LEED Group project: A multi-building Resort comprised of one main building (with services, amenities, restaurants, retail) surrounded by individual villas without kitchens. We believe this would be a LEED Group project, sharing a Master Site. Is this correct? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Sustainable Consultant, Architectural Technologist, Aurecon
Hi Elizabeth, Did you have a response to your query? We are working on a similar project and battling to figure out the rating approach.
Project Manager, LEED Specialist, Interior Designer, SL+A INTERNATIONAL ASIA INC.
Hi Meghan, We received the following guidance (similar to the comments on this page from Mr. Anderson): <<<<< Hotel/motel rooms are eligible to be considered 'commercial' building spaces for rating system selection purposes, and are, thus, eligible for LEED commercial building rating systems, such as LEED-NC, in that respect, regardless of the number of stories of the hotel room buildings. Some resort buildings can also be certified using LEED for Homes, but only if they have all the necessary components, which include cooking facilities, as explained more fully in the LEED for Homes Eligibility Guidelines ( Please note that resort buildings being constructed as part of this project's scope of work with a "gross floor area" of 25,000 square feet (sf) or less (per building) may be eligible to be combined and treated as if they were a single building LEED project in accordance with LEED Interpretation (LI) 10203. Please refer to the full interpretation ( to verify whether or not the project (or some portion of it) can comply with all 6 eligibility requirements. Any single building containing more than 25,000 sf of 'gross floor area' would have to be considered a separate building for LEED certification purposes. That said, the Master Site &/or Group certification approaches defined in the Application Guide for Multiple Buildings and On-Campus Building Projects (AGMBC - could also be used for buildings eligible to meet all the MPRs on their own merits (e.g. MPR 4 - which requires that each building have at least 1,000 sf of 'gross floor area'). The Master Site or Group certification approaches could also work for a situation where several structures would qualify to be treated as 'one building' per LI 10203, and one or more others would have to be considered separate buildings because they contain over 25,000 sf of 'gross floor area'. >>>>>
Architect / LEED Administrator, Integrated Environments + Architecture

Hi, We registered for LEED-New Construction for one dining building in a campus setting awhile back and have not submitted for design review. The Owner has added one pavilion building (with lighting, sink & electrical outlets) by which the Full-time employees from the main building will serve this pavilion as well. How do we proceed, can we migrated on LEED Online to the Group Certification or do we have to re-register?

LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council

Hi Natalie, If the pavilion contains at least 1,000 sq ft of space that would qualify as "gross floor area" per the definition of that term in the LEED 2009 MPR Supplemental Guidance (, and you want to certify both buildings as a single LEED project, please use the GBCI Contact Us page ( to request a migration to the new LEED Online for Campus platform. Likewise, if you want to take credit for most shared aspects of the site when certifying one or both of these buildings (but you want separate ratings), you must use the 'campus credit' (master site) approach, which would also require transferring/migrating the existing project to the new LEED Online for Campus platform. Again, you may simply contact us to submit that request.

If the pavilion has over 1,000 sq ft of "gross floor area" but the owner/project team does not wish to certify it, you may define a separate site area for that pavilion and exclude the pavilion and its portion of the site consistently from this LEED project's application, in which case it is not necessary to migrate to the new platform.

If the pavilion contains less than 1,000 sq ft of "gross floor area" (either because it is very small or is not enclosed), the project team may include it within the main building's LEED project boundary and applicable calculations as a "non-LEED-certifiable building" that is essentially treated like an extension of the certifying building. (See page 26 of the MPR Supplemental Guidance.)

Green Building Consultant


The new LEED Online for group projects is much better- more streamlined and a better overall platform.

However, I have a question- I'm trying to submit a group project and cannot see how to submit it, and have not heard back from USGBC/GBCI that I have reached out to. Please advise!

Thank you,

LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council

Hi Shiva, I'm sorry no one responded to your post here earlier. There should be a cyan/blue "Submit for Review" button in the lower right of the Credit page (aka 'scorecard'). If you cannot find it or it does not appear, please use the Feeback button (also typically in the lower right of the screen) to notify our IT team, who will be happy to help you.

LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council


LEED CONSULTANT, Revitaliza Consultores

Congratulations for the new supporting tools!!

1.An example of a real application for the Group Certification Tool would be very helpful

2. We can upgrade a Master Site that was registerd under the Block Tool. How can we do it?

3. If I am not wrong, the Master Site registration used to cost $900 and now it is free. Is that correct?

LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council

Hi Gustavo,
1. The video mentioned in Step 2 above ( gives you a good idea of how to register for and use the Group certification functionality. We don't yet have 'real' examples to use for illustrative purposes as the tool is brand new.

2. If the Master Site has not already been submitted for review it can be migrated to the new LEED Online for Campus platform. If it has already been reviewed, it cannot be migrated at this time. Please see the 'Answers to Common Questions' ( noted in the announcement above for more information on this topic.

3. Actually, the registration fees for Master Site projects have not changed. Please refer to our fees pages for pricing for both the Master Site and Group Certification approaches:

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