New on LEED Credit Library | U.S. Green Building Council
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You know the problem – you want to know about a LEED credit, so you search through the USGBC website and dig up a PDF of the rating system. After scrolling through you find the credit you’re looking for and go to work. But wait – does this credit have addenda changes? What version is this? Where’s the LEED Online form? Isn’t there a guidance document? What do the reviewer tips say? And where’s that reference guide I bought? More digging, more searching, and who knows if you got it all?

We have the same problem. The rating system is supposed to be a nice, clean simple list of requirements for what constitutes a green project. But the real life application isn’t so simple. So, over time people ask questions, more guidance is given and mistakes are corrected. But now it’s not so clean and simple. It’s a living document…er… documents. After years of hoping for a solution, we have a new approach – the LEED credit library.

At its core, the building blocks of LEED are the credits, so we started at that level – each credit has a spot on our new website (with its own credit icon thanks to Acorn Sign Graphics!). The first thing you’ll see is the credit language, then, orbiting that language are the supplemental resources, the LEED Interpretations, educational tutorials, videos and reference guide material. If it’s about the credit, it’ll be on that page. Over the next few months, you’ll see this information come together. We’ve started with the credit language, supplemental documents and interpretations. We’ll soon be adding educational tutorials, a window into LEEDuser discussions, and advanced search functionality, so you can set up filters to show the credits and rating systems you use most often. When something changes, we’ll tell you about it.

Not only can you find our current rating systems (LEED 2009), but previous version, and…future ones. This is where we’ll be talking to you about LEEDv4, which opens for 5th public comment October 2nd. You’ll be able to view the credits and make comments. Plus, you can see what other people are saying.

I’m really excited about our new website. It makes it possible for LEED to be a conversation. So join in! What do you want to see in the credit library in the future? How do you currently use LEED and what can we do with the credit library to improve your experience?

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 9 commentsLeave a comment

Senior Project Architect, Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP

What happened to the credit icons? They were located at, but they are not there anymore. USGBC had indicated they were free to use for signage. I had created informational signs using these icons and I need to download the pdf files. Please tell me where they are now located.

Principal, Design Synergies Architecture P.C.
I'm also looking for the icons. We want to use them on the education & outreach signage in the building.
Principal, CEO, ATM

Thanks for the good work... I will use this quite a bit.

Technical Director, LEED, U.S. Green Building Council

Thanks Bradford, glad you like it!

President , Acorn Sign Graphics

Batya: Thanks for the "hat's off" to Acorn Sign Graphics. We are looking forward to hearing how the iconography adds to the conversation about LEED. It is a privilege to be a contributor to this effort.

Technical Director, LEED, U.S. Green Building Council

Thanks Beth! And thanks for making our credit library a little more colorful!

Naval Facilities Engineering Command

Ms. Batya Metalitz:

SSc5.1...Case two says "restore." If the area is a military base
and it was flat ground where buildings existed. They have been removed and grass is existing, but the natural grasses of the surrounding vegitation are not infilled because of the base requirements...can this still be considered "restored?" since the building was removed and it is now, not paved, or anything else...but grass and it meets all of the other requirements of the Case #2. ??

Sites Technical Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council

Hi Bryan,
I think there are two issues with the strategy you describe above.

First, the requirements for Case 2 specify that the vegetation used must be native or adapted. So, part of the answer to your question depends on whether or not the species used meets the “native or adapted” criteria. Native or adapted plants are plants indigenous to a locality, or cultivars of native plants that are adapted to the local climate and are not considered invasive species or noxious weeds.

Second, I assume the grass you describe is turf grass? Part of the intent of the credit is to promote biodiversity (and also to provide habitat), and turf grass would not encourage much biodiversity. A monoculture of turf grass does not meet the intent of this credit.

You can refer to the Interpretations and Addenda Database for formal rulings on this topic.

As Batya mentions, you can also visit the LEEDuser page through each credit's “Forum” tab to view and participate in discussions about the credit.

Technical Director, LEED, U.S. Green Building Council

Hi Bryan, I'll check with colleagues on this particular question, but this is actually a great example of a use for the new "forum" tab on each of the v2009 credits - this window into LEEDuser allows you to check out what other teams have asked, and how their peers have responded to similar issues. For SSc5.1 in LEED NC this link is here

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