LEED® Documentation and Recordkeeping Requirements

Association of Construction and Development
May 9, 2013 — 2,180 views  

LEED® stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a reference guide for a rating system of buildings. The rating is specifically based on environmental performance. Different environmental categories get different weights. Energy and atmosphere gets 27 percent, while indoor environment gets 23 percent. The weight given to sustainable sites is 22 percent, while material and resource get 20 percent, and water gets 8 percent.  

Importance of Documentation in LEED® Certification

LEED® certification can be appreciated if it is understood that the majority of us spend most of our time in buildings. The health and performance of individuals in these buildings is important. The USGBC or the US Green Building Council in 1998 developed this rating system.

LEED® documentation is important for several reasons. It is a difficult as well as being a comprehensive certification. It comprehensively defines terms and identifies measurable metrics. But documentation and record keeping is critical for LEED® certification. LEED version 1.0 required all documents be submitted to get credits. Version 2 also required the same rigorous level of documentation. The latest version 2.2 has attempted to reduce the paper work involved.   

Documentation Sources

LEED® is currently being modified. The modification will take into account separate guidelines against functional typologies with respect to buildings. So, documentation currently will be needed for the following if the proposal comes through.

  • New construction
  • Existing buildings
  • Commercial interiors
  • Homes
  • Neighborhood development
  • Core and shells
  • Schools

For a building to be LEED® certified it must meet environmental laws, be a permanent or complete building, must meet the condition of the minimum floor area, must use a reasonable site boundary, must share water as well as energy usage data, comply with minimum occupancy, and must meet the minimum building to site area ratio.

What Type of Documentation is Required?

Documentation has been simplified, to meet LEED® certification, in the latest version of LEED® which is version 2.2. It is now possible to submit all credits online in place of letter templates. This will help to reduce paper work. It is possible to manage credit details online. You can also seek clarification from reviewers online. The design team is expected to record information needed for documentation within the data fields in the template. The options for alternate compliance paths are also available. Additionally, documents can be submitted in two phases – during the design phase, and during the construction phase.

Following up

Once the documentation process for LEED® certification is complete, the follow-up process begins. There are online reviewers you can communicate with online. You can get clarification from them so that documentation can be promptly complied with in case you may have missed something.

Since the documentation process can go on in two phases, you can ask the reviewers about each process separately. But the credits are linked to either of these two phases, no matter which category they belong to. While anticipatory credits are given to the design phase, the final credit is given after the submission of the complete project. Since LEED® documentation can be completed using an online template; the process will go on smoothly.

LEED® certification is a major step toward sustainable environmental development and green buildings. It sets the standard that builders will be motivated to follow to remain competitive in the market. The documentation process has been simplified over the years so that compliance to the standards becomes easy.  

Association of Construction and Development