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New and Improved Way to Certify Multiple Buildings

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)

Questions?

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    Melissa Gallagher-Rogers made 10 contributions in the last 6 months

Melissa Gallagher-Rogers

Vice President, Technical Solutions U.S. Green Building Council

17 commentsLeave a comment

Energy Analyst, Taitem Engineering
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!
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!
Engineer, Ramboll Group
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
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?
Senior Digital Marketing Specialist, 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 (http://www.usgbc.org/articles/new-and-improved-way-certify-multiple-buil...) 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 (http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-homes-v2008-scope-and-eligibility-gu...). 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 (http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=10203) 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 - http://www.usgbc.org/Docs/Archive/General/Docs10486.pdf) 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'. >>>>>
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