Entry Type ID Date Applicable Rating System Primary Credit Inquiry (LIs) Ruling (LIs) Related Addenda/LIs Related Resources Campus Applicable Internationally Applicable Country Applicability Reference Guide (Addenda) Page (Addenda) Location (Addenda) Description of Change (Addenda) "LEED Interpretation" "10244" "2012-10-01" "New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction, Retail - New Construction, Healthcare, Data centers - New Construction, Hospitality - New Construction, Commercial Interiors, Retail - Commercial Interiors" "EAc3: Enhanced Commissioning" "This request is in regards to LEED Version 2009, EA Credit 3, Enhanced Commissioning, credit requirements. In particular, this is in regards to contracting situations such as Design Build and the hiring of the CxA for enhanced commissioning. In a design-build scenario, the A-E firm is hired by the contractor. With this in mind, can the CxA for enhanced commissioning (an independent 3rd party firm), be hired by the A-E firm who is in turn hired by the contractor? In this same scenario, the design-build contractor is providing services contracted to the Federal Government, who is the owner. Can a Federal employee, serve as the CxA for enhanced commissioning for the project? " "In this design build scenario for a LEED NCv2009 project pursuing EAc3 Enhanced Commissioning, the A/E Firm is a subcontractor to the Contractor, forming a single Design Build Team. The A/E firm wishes to hire the CxA, but, as a result, the commissioning authority in this design build scenario would be considered a ""disinterested employee or subcontractor of the contractor"" and therefore not an acceptable commissioning authority for the project. Concerning whether the commissioning authority can be hired by the Architecture and Engineering (A/E) Firm, the document titled ""Who Can be the Commissioning Authority"" (http://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=1262) outlines the acceptable parties to act as the commissioning authority for various project scenarios.\n\n Concerning whether it is acceptable for a federal employee to be the commissioning authority for a government project, the 2009 edition LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction EA Prerequisite 1 Table 2. ""Who Can be the Commissioning Authority"" (Page 221) states that ""independent consultants contracted by the owner"" and ""owner employees and staff"" are allowed to be the commissioning authority when pursuing enhanced commissioning. Therefore, if the commissioning authority is hired by the owner, it is acceptable for a federal employee to be the commissioning authority for a government project.\n\n **Update 07/01/2014: Ruling has been reversed and revised to allow the CxA to be contracted to the general contractor or a subcontractor of the general contractor in limited circumstances.\n\n In the design build scenario, a ˜disinterested independent third party firm may be hired by the design build contractor or a subcontractor to the design build contractor under the following constraints:\n\n 1. The commissioning firm may not be a subsidiary or partner of the general contractor or of any other firm that has been contracted to the general contractor to provide design and construction services for the project.\n\n 2. Though the commissioning firm is not contracted directly to the owner, the owner or an owner's representative must approve of the selection of the commissioning firm, and of the commissioning scope of work within the commissioning contract.\n\n 3. The CxA must directly report to the owner or owner's representative (or simultaneously report to the owner or owner's representative and other parties) throughout the commissioning process.\n\n As noted above, the CxA must lead, manage and oversee all commissioning processes, including both fundamental and enhanced commissioning, consistent with the requirements for EA Credit 3: Enhanced Commissioning.\n\n" "2641, 2508, 5023" "Who can be the commissioning authority?" "X" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "1332" "2005-12-22" "New Construction" "EAc3: Enhanced Commissioning" "This requests concerns the acceptability of a design builder directly employing a third party commissioning agent to perform additional commissioning and obtain credit for doing so. Background: The City of San Diego Park Planning and Development Division awarded a Contract to TB Penick & Sons, Inc. for design and construction of the George L. Stevens Senior Center, San Diego California. The Contract specifies that the design builder (TB Penick) shall procure all labor materials and services required to fulfill their obligations under the Contract. This includes procurement of LEED commissioning services. The Contract specifies that a silver LEED rating be obtained by the design builder in accordance with City of San Diego policy for new capital improvements projects. The design builder (TB Penick) has contracted with a commissioning agent for the purposes of commissioning in accordance with the LEED guidelines. The City will not hire the commissioning agent directly and expects the design builder to do so. We can provide documentation from the City substantiating this contractual requirement. The City of San Diego employs on staff LEED certified individuals who review the commissioning procedures and reporting to insure compliance and accuracy. Request: Please consider allowing credit for the additional commissioning effort where the additional commissioning agent is contracted with the design builder in this case." "The intent of the credit is met if the design builder has hired an independent third-party commissioning provider. To ensure that conflict of interest is minimized, there should be a clear, direct line of communication from the commissioning provider to the owner." "None" "None" "LEED Interpretation" "1664" "2007-01-08" "New Construction, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "EAc3: Enhanced Commissioning" "We seek clarification on the meaning of the use in the context of EAc3 of the word ""oversee"" in the Reference Guide and other published USGBC material. Possible different interpretations of the use of that word may lead to starkly different conclusions regarding the requirements of the credit. In at least two places, the LEED-NC 2.2 Reference Guide and other USGBC material state directly that the independent Commissioning Authority (iCx) must oversee all comissioning activity, including tasks not required to be performed by the iCx. First the Requirements section of the credit itself states, ""[p]rior to the start of the construction documents phase, designates an independent Commissioning Authority (CxA) to lead, review, and oversee all commissioning process activities."" [emphasis added for clarity] Second, in the USGBC document ""Who Can Be The Commissioning Authority"" published on USGBC\'s web site (https://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=1262 for readers of this CIR not familiar with the document.), item number 4 states, ""[t]he \'all\' in the Enhanced Cx Requirement 1 means if one is seeking the Enhanced Cx credit, the same CxA overseeing the Enhanced Cx tasks must also oversee the Fundamental Commissioning Tasks."" Our question is, in the context of both of these statements, what is meant by the word ""oversee."" The term is ambiguous enough to be open to differing interpretations: does it mean that the independent third party CxA needs to lead and be involved in the entire commissioning process, even if they are only contracted to provide a design and submittal reviews and assure an appropriate post occupancy review occurs per EAc3 tasks 2, 3, and 6, or just be aware and stay appraised of any tasks for which they are not directly responsible? If the Independent Commissioning Authority is indeed charged with oversight for the entire commissioning process, even if they are not performing any additional tasks beyond 2,3, and 6 of EAc3, do they need to review and approve all commissioning deliverables for the remaining EAp1 and EAp3 requirements? Do they need to sign the LEED Letter Template for EAp1? Some project teams have moved forward with the presumption that qualified members of the design/construction teams were leading and conducting most commissioning activities, that this 3rd party oversight wasn\'t required for their activities, and that they (qualified members of the design/contruction team) would be the signatories of the EAp1. The independent CxA would only be scoped for and sign for the 3 minimum activities in EAp3. We request the USGBC provide guidance on this scenario and issue a clear addenda stating how these scoping and EAp1 LLT signatory issues should be handled. Please in doing so also clarify explicitly. In addition to the questions above, teams would also need to know: Does this apply to NC2.1 and NC2.2 projects equally, or only NC2.2? Does it apply to projects registered prior to the issuance of the addenda, i.e. at a time in which the requirements were not clear - which might require some project teams to go back and revisit and redefine the scope of work for team members, and might also disqualify some projects from EAc3 if they did this wrong - or only to projects registered after the ruling (or proposed new addenda, once published)? So, to summarize our questions (and make it easier for you to answer all of them): Does an independent Commissioning Authority (iCx) need to review and approve all commissioning deliverables for EAp1 and EAp3 requirements, even if they are only hired to perform the 3 minimum requirements of EAp3? Does the iCx have to sign the Letter Templates for both credits? Does this apply to NC2.1 and 2.2 projects? Does this apply to projects registered prior to this ruling?" "The project team is seeking clarification of the impact of the word ""oversee"" in the EAc3 requirements. The credit requirement states that the independent Commissioning Authority (CxA) must ""lead, review, and oversee"" all commissioning activities. While the level of oversight is subject to interpretation, we disagree that there is any ambiguity regarding the extent to which the independent CxA must be involved in the process. The use of the phrase ""lead, review, and oversee"" defines a high level of participation while providing some flexibility for fitting the process to the project. Thus, the answer to your first question is yes - the independent CxA must ""lead, review, and oversee"" all Cx activities, which includes EAp1 and EAc3. Whether the oversight role includes formal approval is subject to the process chosen by each individual project. Second, credit templates may be submitted/signed by a responsible party for each credit. The responsible party for EAc3 could be an owner, independent CxA, or other person in a position to confirm that all requirements have been met. Third, this language is unique to v2.2 and does not apply to v2.1 projects. Finally, since this ruling is confirming the stated requirements, no addendum is required, and all projects registered under v2.2 fall under this interpretation. Applicable Internationally." "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "1970" "2007-12-02" "New Construction, Schools - New Construction, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell" "EAc3: Enhanced Commissioning" "For our project, a third party Commissioning Agent (Dome Tech) has been contracted to provide all services to meet the criteria of both EA Prerequisite 1: Fundamental Building Systems Commissioning and EA Credit 3: Additional Commissioning. This contract began back in 2001 during design phase. Construction phase did not begin until 2006. Our project includes high efficiency gas-fired micro-turbines combined with a double effect absorption chiller/heater to provide on-site power, heating and cooling. UTC Power, A United Technologies Company offers such a system and was submitted and approved for the project. Since the submittal review and approval as well as installation, UTC has acquired the Firm (Dome Tech) that was contracted to provide Commissioning Services. When we asked the Commissioning Agent if this posed a conflict of interest and pointed them to the existing Credit Interpretations the following is the response that we received: ""Dome-Tech\'s recent acquisition by United Technologies doesn\'t present a conflict of interest due to our organization being maintained as a separate business with separate accounting and management. Unlike CIR dated 11/08/2004 where an energy service company was performing commissioning and potentially supplying the controls and automation, neither Dome-Tech nor UTC Power is operating under a performance contract model. Dome-Tech has nothing to gain by not disclosing any issues uncovered during the commissioning of the Microturbines, in addition in our experience most manufacturers and installers would rather know and fix a problem then let it become a warranty issue. Additionally, Dome-Tech is not affiliated with the design team in any way, so our suitability for EA 3 is in compliance."" Our inquiry is whether or not the acquisition of Dome-Tech by UTC - the manufacturer of the Microturbine system - poses a conflict of interest and precludes us from being able to achieve either EA Prerequisite 1 or EA Credit 3? Please note that the project construction is near the end and the acquisition did not take place until October 1, 2007." "For this project it is acceptable to retain the previously hired commissioning agent despite the fact that an equipment supplier has since acquired the firm, provided that the commissioning agent will document that they retain independence in staffing, management, and finances. The commissioning agent has likely completed significant portions of the EAp1 and EAc3 requirements thus its acquisition by the equipment supplier should have minimal impact on the project. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "5479" "2005-02-07" "New Construction" "EAc3: Enhanced Commissioning" "Are LEED Consultants (who are hired independent of design team) considered to be part of the design team? Can a consulting firm who provides LEED consulting on a project, also provide Additional Building Commissioning services for the same project and be considered as an Independent third-party commissioning agent? " "If the LEED consultant firm is hired by the owner independently of the design team and not responsible for project design or construction management or supervision, it would not be considered part of the design team. It therefore could act as an independent third-party Commissioning Agent. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "5515" "2001-12-11" "New Construction" "EAc3: Enhanced Commissioning" "Credit 3.0 for Additional commissioning is quite clear in its requirement that the certification be done by an independent Commissioning Authority (a firm other than the designer). Is the intent of the credit met if the Commissioning Authority is an independent consultant hired by the architect/designer?" "Yes. The intent of the credit is met if an independent consultant is hired by the architect/designer as the commissioning authority. For further clarification, refer to the previous credit inquiry ruling (9999-EAc30-102601). Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "5610" "2002-12-23" "New Construction" "EAc3: Enhanced Commissioning" "In previous interpretation for this credit, the USGBC specified that the additional commissioning tasks 1,2, and 3 must be done by someone representing a firm other than the design firm. In our case, the City made commissioning a required element in our Request For Proposal for this development. In response to our request, the Developer has hired a general contractor (Baugh Skanska Construction) that has personnel, not responsible for the management of the project, available to provide the basic commissioning and additional commissioning responsibilities. The project\'s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design is being provided by an independent engineering firm (Interface Engineering) to ensure any conflict of interest is eliminated. Please confirm that an individual employed by the general contractor is an acceptable additional commissioning authority and that we are eligible for this credit." "An individual employed by the general contractor is not an acceptable additional commissioning authority, as this relationship does not constitute an ""independent"" third party for purposes of the advanced commissioning credit. Part of the intent of this credit is to ""verify and ensure that the entire building is ..constructed" "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "5681" "2002-06-28" "New Construction" "EAc3: Enhanced Commissioning" "Our client committed late in the process to using the LEED system. We were well into construction documents before they gave us the green light to pursue certification. However, we have up to a year before they actually begin construction, as they will be seeking funds and in-kind donations based on the CDs. The Additional Commissioning point for energy and Atmosphere requires a focused review prior to CDs and another near the end of CDs. Given that our process has been a bit out of your intended sequence, our question is: can we meet the intent of the review by having the CDs reviewed by a commissioning agent, since we have the time to make any modifications recommended by the review, and then to have it re-reviewed prior to permitting and construction. Obviously, there may be some inefficiency if major changes are proposed, but if the client is willing to take the risk of re-design, does this meet the credit intent? The question is especially important to the project because state incentive programs specifically require that a project capture this LEED point to qualify for funds." "The goal of the requirement for a ""focused review of the design prior to construction documents phase"" is to allow the commissioning agent to add their expertise to the design process, and help the design team steer clear of systems that may be difficult or impossible to commission. If there is time in your process for the commissioning agent to review and make recommendations to the project that can result in such design modifications, your project can meet the requirements of this credit. Because you are outside of the typical process described by this credit, you need to make it clear that the intent of the credit was met by providing documentation of the process you implemented to achieve this. Such documentation should include examples of the reviewer\'s recommendations, an indication that the recommendations were implemented, and evidence of the final review. Applicable internationally." "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "5685" "2004-09-08" "New Construction" "EAc3: Enhanced Commissioning" "Our company is a full-service A/E firm and is contracted with a build-to-suit developer and contractor on a fast-track design-build project for the government. The architectural, landscape, and mechanical/electrical/plumbing design services are being performed by of our Design Services department. Commissioning (Cx) and LEED"" certification services are also being performed by our company, but are organizationally separate, under the Facilities Science & Technology department. The services are also located in separate offices, with design based out of central Illinois, and Cx and LEED"" services in Colorado. Both groups have separate reporting lines within the company (supporting documentation can be provided). The Cx Authority is not part of the design team and has not participated in any part of the design development, with the exception of conducting the owner\'s project requirements (project intent) workshop and participating team meetings with the owner. The Cx Authority is in direct contact with the owner. Civil engineering services are being provided by a local company in Nebraska. We are requesting an interpretation for our design-build project situation. The project was contracted as a design/build because of the fast-track requirements of the government client and the nature of their solicitation for services. The government solicitation requires the facility receive a minimum LEED"" rating of Silver. Our full-service firm was utilized because of our experience with LEED"" and Cx, and to increase project efficiency and reduce the overhead costs of having separate consultants for all services. If we can demonstrate organizational separation between the two departments, will we meet the requirements for items 1, 2 and 3 of Credit 3, or do we need to retain design and submittal review services from an outside source, not associated with our company? " "You must obtain independent services not associated with the design firm to meet the first three requirements of this credit. As per EAc3 CIR ruling dated 3/11/03, the Commissioning Agent must ""function independently with respect to management, shared staff, financial relationships, etc."" " "None" "None" "LEED Interpretation" "5832" "2002-04-24" "New Construction" "EAc3: Enhanced Commissioning" "The City has a program of prototype buildings for a number of building uses, libraries, police stations, and fire stations. Our project is a re-design of a police station prototype building that is being altered to meet LEED certification criteria. The unaltered prototype has already been constructed in several locations. The nature of the prototype program brings a few unique issues to the LEED process for which some direction will be helpful. First, we are interested hiring a third party commissioning agent as part of the LEED process with the goal of satisfying both the prerequisite requirements and the additional commissioning credit. The commissioning agent will be engaged prior to full development of the LEED changes and CDs for this building. The commissioning authority will perform all of the tasks listed under the prerequisite and the credit. Does this meet the intent of EA Credit 3? Further, due to the nature of the prototype program, this project brings with it a unique opportunity where the exact, or very similar, building has already been built without a green initiative. We are interested in comparing the performance of our LEED prototype to the existing prototype for an innovation credit. Would the USGBC find such a study valuable? And, if so would this provide the project with an innovation credit?" "Part One: Commissioning Requirements Yes, you can meet the requirements for both basic and advanced commissioning for this project. By re-designing a prototype building to meet LEED requirements, you have the opportunity to address all of the commissioning requirements for both the prerequisite and the additional commissioning credit in LEED. These requirements are identified in the LEED Reference Guide. Part Two: Innovation in Design Credit Innovation in design requires that you demonstrate either exceptional performance above LEED requirements, and/or innovative performance in categories not specifically addressed by LEED. Your question specifically addresses the possibility of a performance evaluation of the project. One way to achieve an innovation credit in this area would be as follows: LEED addresses building performance measurement in Energy and Atmosphere Credit 5; Measurement and Verification. The first step toward a performance evaluation for project would be to follow the requirements for EA credit 5 and implement an effective Measurement and Verification strategy. The project could then go beyond this credit (thus achieving exemplary performance) by also applying a similar M&V strategy to an existing building and developing a comparison study protocol. This level of effort would lead to valuable comparative data, and would qualify the project for an innovation credit. Applicable internationally." "None" "None" "X" "LEED Interpretation" "10278" "2013-04-01" "New Construction, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell, Schools - New Construction" "EAc2: Enhanced Commissioning" "As the project owner, tenant, and end user, can our firm also be the Commissioning Authority even though we are also the architect and engineer? We are formatting our own office space that will be larger than 50K square feet in total. As the owner, tenant and end user for this commercial interior space, we will also be acting as the architect, engineer and construction manager as agent. We are contracting a 3rd party general contractor that will be providing all the constructor contracts (subcontractors). To ensure commissioning is disinterested, our Commissioning Authority personnel will not be involved in any manner with the architecture, engineering or construction management of the project." "The owner, who will also be the architect, engineer, and construction manger for a project larger than fifty thousand square feet, can have an employee who is not involved in design or construction decisions with the architecture, engineering, or construction management for the project, act as the commissioning authority. The CxA must report directly to the owner’s representative- either the person or board that makes the final decisions for the project. This employee, however, is required to have acted as the commissioning authority on at least 2 other projects, as required by the LEED Reference Guide for Green Interior Design and Construction, 2009 Edition. Applicable Internationally. " "None" "None" "X"