LEED for Existing Buildings Recertification Is Here
A special feature of LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems.) certifications is that they come with an expiration date: since the certification is all about ongoing performance, project buildings have been required to seek recertification every five years. The only difficulty has been that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has taken a lot of time to develop clear and specific guidelines for exactly how projects are supposed to do that. Although there has only been a trickle of certified projects five years or older certified under LEED-EB 2.0, that trickle is growing into a flood, so USGBC's unveiling last week of new recertification guidance is timely.
Here are some of the most exciting features of recertification (or "recert"), as shared with LEEDuser by Selina Holmes and Lauren Riggs of USGBC:
- Although it doesn't yet, LEED Online will support recertification with specialized forms, and it will do so within the project's original certification home on LEED Online. For now, recertification projects have to register in LEED Online as a new project. (If doing that, write "recertification" in your project name.)
- LEED Online submittals will be streamlined and will focus on documenting ongoing performance of EBOM projects. Projects won't have to re-document static environmental features.
- Projects will need to recertify under the most current version of the LEED-EBOM rating system. However, for projects certified under older systems that have less in common with current systems (case in point: LEED-EBOM 2.0 vs. LEED 2009), USGBC will work with those projects to bring them up to speed and transition them into newer systems.
- USGBC will be reaching out to projects soon and offering them staff time to help this transition. The new guidance document also gives "crosswalk" guidance on how v2.0 projects match up with v2009 requirements. During 2013, outreach will extend to newer projects.
- The new guidance document also offers specific "performance" requirements for recertification, building on original certification "establishment" requirements. For example, SSc2 establishment requires a policy for building exterior management, while performance requires documentation of practives from 25% of recertification performance period.
- In general, recert projects will have to provide documentation covering 25% of the period they are recertifying for. If recertifying within four years, that's one year of data, if recert period is one year, that's three months of data.
- Recertified projects will get a new plaque with a new date.
- Looking ahead: LEED v4 will be built from the start to support recertification, with establishment vs. performance requirements clearly stated within the credit language.
In sharing this information, and in putting out the new guidance document, Holmes and Riggs emphasized that the guidance document is intentionally coming out now prior to full functional support of recertification, so that projects can prepare.
What do you think of the new recert guidance? Do you like how the program is shaping up? What questions does it raise for you and your EBOM projects? Post your comments and questions below.