LEED certification for existing buildings and spaces

LEED certification for existing buildings and spaces

LEED for Operations and Maintenance

LEED for Operations and Maintenance (O+M) offers existing buildings an opportunity to pay close attention to building operations, by supporting whole buildings and interior spaces that have been fully operational and occupied for at least one year. The project may be undergoing improvement work or little to no construction.

By focusing on both performance oriented sustainable strategies and outcomes, LEED helps build high performing buildings. Consider that it can take up to 80 years to make up for the impacts of demolishing an existing building and constructing a new one, even if the resulting building is extremely energy efficient. However, many older buildings around the world are inefficient and resource-depleting, but with keen attention to building operations that can be turned around by using LEED O+M.

A LEED for every project

LEED works for all project types from office spaces and restaurants to data centers and schools. LEED O+M has options to fit every project.

  • Existing Buildings. Existing whole buildings.
  • Existing Interiors. Existing interior spaces that are contained within a portion of an existing building. Interior spaces may serve commercial, retail or hospitality purposes.

LEED v4.1

Leaders in the private sector as well as state and municipal governments are stepping up with initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, expanding activities that impact human health and well-being.

LEED v4.1 is the next generation standard for green building design, construction, operations and performance. Learn more about LEED v4.1 for existing buildings and interiors.

  • A shift from documents for documentation to data for documentation focuses on tracking performance in energy, water, waste, transportation, indoor air quality, toxin free environment and occupant satisfaction.
  • Data driven recertification guidance that aligns with certification requirements helps projects get certified and stay certified.
  • LEED points are based on performance (score).
  • For the first time. LEED applies to existing buildings and interior spaces.

How certification works

For projects in progress

There are a number of tools and resources available to support you when working on your LEED project including:

For new projects

  1. Choose your rating system. For the new construction of whole buildings, start by finding the option that best fits your project by exploring the O+M offerings. View the full list of LEED v4.1 rating systems or view the full list of LEED v4 rating systems. There are also Certification models for multiple buildings and options for federal building projects.
  2. Check the requirements and options. Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) are the basic requirements that let you know if your project can pursue LEED. LEED credits allow project teams to customize how they pursue LEED. By fulfilling credits, project teams earn points that, once added together, determine a project’s certification level. Learn more about LEED prerequisites and credits or access the LEED credit library.
  3. Deadlines. At any given time, a LEED rating system is either open for registration and certification, closed for registration but open for certification or sunset (closed for both registration and certification). View the deadlines to make sure you know the status of your desired rating system/version.
  4. Fees. View the fees table to find the LEED registration and certification costs.
  5. Build your team. Goals and roles are key elements to consider when starting any project and it's no different in LEED. There could be several people who are members of the project team. Learn more in the Guide to Certification for your selected project type.
  6. Register your project in LEED Online and follow the steps in the Guide to Certification for your project type.

Post-certification

Once your project has earned LEED certification, there are some steps you can take to promote or maintain your certification.

  • Protect your investment with LEED recertification. This new guidance presents a simple and data-driven pathway, reassuring projects that they are meeting ever-changing goals and staying on the cutting edge. Learn more about LEED recertification.
  • As a LEED-certified project, you have access to Arc, a platform that allows you to meet LEED energy and water data tracking requirements (post certification) and manage performance across five areas: energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience. Learn more about Arc.
  • Get the word out; you can start by updating your project profile in the usgbc.org LEED Project Directory.
  • Go further with LEED Zero certification, a complement to LEED that verifies the achievement of net zero goals in carbon, energy, water and waste. Learn more about LEED Zero.

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