Batya Metalitz

In addition to the LEED credit categories we’re all familiar with (Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency…you know the drill), LEED has always reserved a few points for Innovation – things that aren’t part of the rating system but are right at home in a green building certification program. Over the years we’ve seen some really intriguing (and innovative) ideas brought forward by project teams, and these ideas have earned the projects a point in LEED.

But how do we keep these ideas in LEED without changing the rating systems or diluting the number of points? In 2010 USGBC launched the LEED Pilot Credit Library to test new and innovative strategies across a variety of projects before these ideas become part of LEED. Now, four years later, some of these pilot strategies are ready for primetime. Many were incorporated into LEED v4 and are now available to project teams as part of the standard LEED rating system. Others aren’t in LEED v4, but they’ve been tested, and we think any project team should be able to use them to earn Innovation points going forward. So, we’re happy to announce the LEED Innovation Catalog – a place for project teams to find innovative strategies for use on their projects.

Where is it?

The innovation catalog ( v2009, v4 version) resides in the LEED Credit Library, along with all of the LEED rating systems, pilot credits, credit resources, LEED interpretations, LEEDuser forums and more. Just like credit categories, you’ll find a listing for “innovation catalog” within each of the LEED rating systems for v2009 and newer.

What is in the innovation catalog?

You’ll find a few types of credits in the innovation catalog:

  1. Credits from other rating systems – We frequently accept credits from one LEED rating system for innovation credit in another. Green Cleaning from LEED for Existing Building: Operations and Maintenance is a good example – LEED BD+C projects use this credit with some regularity within the Innovation category. You will now find credits like these under BD+C and ID+C – the title and credit ID will note from which rating system the credit originated.
  2. Retired pilot credits – They had a good run as pilot credits, our project teams liked them, our committees liked them, now they are moving on to the innovation catalog. So, unlike a pilot credit, you don’t need to register for these innovation credits, you don’t need to complete a feedback survey (we already gathered a lot of feedback to get to this stage) and we may have some materials that will help you complete the credit, like a calculator or a documentation form, that will make the credit easier to complete.
  3. Historically accepted innovation strategies – There are a few strategies that have been used by project teams for years – things like green education. A few of these strategies will appear in the innovation catalog as well.

How do I use the innovation catalog?

The catalog is essentially a reference resource. You don’t need to register for these credits individually like you do with pilot credits. Instead, check the innovation catalog for ideas on what to do with your innovation credits. We’ll post additional instructions and resources under these credit entries to help you with the submittal and review process. When it comes time to complete one of your project’s IN credits, simply let us know which one you’re using and complete any documentation you might need just like a standard Innovation credit.

Happy innovating!