Frequently Asked Questions
Orders, Accounts and Memberships
How do I set up a LEEDuser membership?
You can review LEEDuser membership options and pricing on our membership page. If you prefer to set up a free, limited-access account to participate in our forum, please use our basic registration page (you can upgrade to full membership anytime).
How do I cancel my monthly or yearly auto-renewal?
Follow the instructions below. Note that this procedure will prevent a future renewal charge but you will continue to have access until your membership expires at the end of the 1-month or 1-year term. You can view your upcoming expiration date on your My Account page.
- Log in to your account, if you are not already logged in.
- Click "My Account" in the upper-right at the top of the page.
- Click "Auto-Renewals" on your account page.
- Click "Cancel" next to the recurring fee.
- Click "Yes, I want to cancel the subscription". You will continue to have access for the remainder of your term.
How do I obtain a full refund on my yearly membership?
Yearly membership refund requests should be submitted through our contact form. They must be submitted within the first 110 days after your first credit card charge. After your refund is processed, you will immediately lose access to the site.
I've lost my password. Help?
My email address changed and I can't retrieve my password reset link. What now?
Please call Customer Service at (800) 861-0954, or contact us, to reset your password.
I'm leaving my company and need to transfer my membership to a coworker.
Typically, this is handled by your canceling your existing membership, and your co-worker starting his or her own. Note that you can take your personal profile and associated forum comments with you—just update your email address on your way out the door.
How do I transfer Team Membership administration to another person?
Call customer service (800) 861-0954 for help with this, or contact us.
Can I pay by purchase order, or get a mailed bill?
At this time, we do not offer billed memberships. Contact us to express interest in this feature.
What are the minimum browser requirements for LEEDuser.com?
LEEDuser.com supports Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 and supports Chrome, Firefox, and Safari on Mac OSX. If you are using any of these browsers and having trouble with our site, please let us know. LEEDuser has received reports that the site does not run smoothly on earlier browsers, such as Internet Explorer 6 or 7. The forum and some tabbed content may not appear to those browsers. In these cases, we recommend upgrading your browser.
Do I need to have cookies enabled in my browser?
Yes, you do need to have first-party cookies enabled in your browser to use LEEDuser.com, particularly when signed-in to your personal account. This setting is the default in modern Web browsers (see a list of supported Web browsers above). Cookies allow LEEDuser.com to recognize your signed-in status from page to page. See this note from Google's help pages on how to check/enable cookies in your web browser. Note: "third-party" cookies need not be enabled for LEEDuser.com.
About LEEDuser Content
What is LEEDuser?
What is the difference between LEEDuser and LEED Online?
LEED Online is the official website, run by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).), where LEED project teams go to complete documents for LEED certification.
In a nutshell, LEEDuser is an independent website offering supporting information, including templates, spreadsheets, and sample completed documentation forms, to give project teams a leg up. LEEDuser also offers a forum—see below.
What LEED rating systems does LEEDuser cover?
LEEDuser's premium content focuses on the commercial and institutional LEED 2009 rating systems: New Construction (NC), Core & Shell (CS), Schools, Healthcare, Commercial Interiors (CI), and Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems.). For other rating systems, such as LEED for Homes, LEEDuser offers a credit language reference and user forum, but not premium content.
Through 2016, the market is in the process of transitioning from LEED 2009 to LEED v4. LEEDuser will continue to support LEED 2009 projects on an ongoing basis, and is continuously building out new LEED v4 content to support those projects as they come online.
Does LEEDuser have a relationship with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) or the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI)?
The content within LEEDuser was developed by BuildingGreen independently of USGBC or GBCI, with the exception of certain content such as official LEED credit language, which is used by permission. However, USGBC has supported the development of LEEDuser as a valuable tool to help clarify the LEED process and make more projects successful. Because they use a trademarked brand, the name "LEEDuser" and the LEEDuser.com are owned by USGBC and used with permission.
I read something on LEEDuser that I think is incorrect, or that seems to contradict USGBC or GBCI. What's up with that?
We've worked hard to make LEEDuser accurate, thorough, and reliable. But it's not infallible. As seasoned LEED professionals know, no LEED resource, including the LEED Reference Guide itself, is perfect.
It's important to remember that LEEDuser is an independent tool designed to help you achieve LEED certification and greener buildings. We provide frank advice, and sometimes we have a difference of opinion or a different take on things than USGBC or GBCI. When that happens, we try to explain our reasoning as best as possible. It is important to keep in mind, however, that USGBC and GBCI are the final authorities on the LEED rating systems and certification, respectively. Our advice is subject to this disclaimer.
LEEDuser has a lot of great templates, sample documents, calculators, and tracking sheets in the LEED credit Documentation Toolkits. Can I actually use this stuff?
Our members can use and modify any of LEEDuser's resources for their internal LEED teams and projects. You may share LEEDuser documents with your project team as needed, but we encourage entire teams to sign up together in order to gain access to the latest documents along with up-to-date advice and forums. LEEDuser retains copyright to many of these documents, along with associated rights, including the right to modify and disseminate for commercial purposes. Samples are not intended as boilerplate language to be used without modification to earn a credit.
How is LEEDuser covering LEED v4? Do you have documentation samples?
LEEDuser has tips, credit language, FAQs, and other resources on all major LEED v4 rating systems including NC, EBOM, Schools, etc. Browse v4 guidance here.
Comparing LEED 2009 to LEED v4, LEEDuser members will see that our guidance and resources on v4 are growing. We are actively seeking out relevant LEED v4 project examples to provide you, and are continuously adding new resources.
Similarly, LEED v4 is so new that we are continuously learning what the sticking points are where project teams need step-by-step guidance, templates, and other support. When LEED teams post questions to our forums or email us about their frustrations, we learn more and add to our guidance.
About the LEEDuser Forum
What is the LEEDuser forum?
The forum is a public space that is accessible to anyone. LEEDuser members have full forum access, and anyone can post to the forum by signing up for a guest LEEDuser account using a valid email address. We encourage people to share their LEED questions, comments, lessons learned, and tips in this space, and to answer others' questions.
Who are the LEEDuser experts?
Several dozen people are identified as "LEEDuser Experts" in the forum. These are people in the top of their respective fields on LEED issues, and in most cases they are volunteering their time to help answer questions. If you are ever looking to hire professional help on your project, we recommend our experts for your consideration! If you are interested in becoming an expert, please let us know.
I posted a question or comment to the forum but it hasn't shown up. Why?
The LEEDuser forums are moderated and while most posts show up right away, some are flagged for moderation. For example, if this is your first time posting to the forum, there is a good chance your post will be moderated. Most posts that pass through moderation are posted within 24 hours, but some aren't.
Posts that are removed typically either are outright spam, are solicitations of one kind or another (even fairly innocuous ones from LEED professionals—please solicit for your business indirectly by helping answer questions and demonstrating your expertise, not posting your contact information), or are impolite. We also regularly remove "thank you" posts from the forum—not that our experts don't appreciate the thanks, but this keeps the forum cleaner to navigate moving forward.
I posted a question on the forum. When can I expect an answer?
The LEEDuser forum receives dozens of posts every day. In many cases, questions are answered within hours. Especially on more specialized topics, and with more detailed questions, answers may take a few days or a couple weeks. As discussed in the previous question, our LEEDuser Experts are top professionals in their fields who are volunteering their time here; sometimes it may take a little while for them to be able to address your question. Sometimes, faced with many questions, they may also need to budget their time, and pick and choose which questions they tackle.
If you're feeling impatient (we know how it feels!) please keep in mind the following. The forum is a free public space, and not part of the premium content that our members subscribe to. You can help this forum a vibrant, useful space by not only asking questions, but also making an effort to answer others' questions and being thoughtful and courteous in all of your communications. Like all of the content on this website, the forum is not a substitute for the services of a qualified LEED professional, or for the final word of USGBC or GBCI, the official authorities behind LEED. Please do not re-post the same question (we remove duplicates to keep the forum easy to navigate), or to contact us simply to ask when your question will be answered (we closely monitor all questions and are working on getting answers).
One last tip: please be clear and while providing relevant specifics, try to be succinct, and don't write an essay. Many questions can be answered simply be referring to the LEED credit language, and to LEEDuser's guidance in the Bird's Eye View, Checklists, Resources, and Documentation Toolkit tabs, so please review those, as well as previous forum posts, before posting. These resources are available only to our members, but we do offer 30-day free membership trials on most pages of the website.
Why hasn't my question been answered? I posted it weeks ago!
LEED is complex, and individual project situations can also be complex. Not all LEED questions have clear answers. Our experts are typically cautious in replying to questions when they do not feel that they can offer a clear answer, so although they have most likely read and considered your question, they may have chosen not to reply because they don't think there is a clear answer, and don't want to speculate for fear of muddying the waters.
We understand that this can be frustrating, but please remember that LEEDuser is independent from USGBC, and while we do our best to extract useful information from USGBC, we also rely on the thousands of other independent individuals and firms out there working with LEED to communicate with USGBC, gain clarity on difficult issues—by submitting LEED Interpretations, among other things—and share their knowledge on our forum.
I see that USGBC.org has its own credit library with forums that look just like LEEDuser's. What is the relationship between USGBC's website and LEEDuser?
USGBC has engaged with LEEDuser to host the public forum discussions within the USGBC.org LEED credit library. LEEDuser is an independent website, operated by BuildingGreen, Inc. and designed to help project teams achieve LEED certification. The forum discussions shown on USGBC.org are a part of that independent LEEDuser.com website and are accessible via USGBC.org as a convenience to the entire LEED community.
There are many opinions posted on the LEEDuser forums, sometimes by USGBC and GBCI staff. Can I reference these posts in my official LEED submissions?
LEEDuser forum conversations are not officially part of the LEED rating system and should not be referenced as an authoritative source in LEED documentation.
Experts posting on LEEDuser typically answer forum questions by referencing or reiterating content that is already an official part of the LEED rating system, whether it be in the credit language, Reference Guides, addenda, LEED Interpretations, or other supplemental resources such as the Minimum Program Requirements Supplemental Guidance document. In completing LEED documentation, you would be encouraged to reference these same official sources.
In some cases, experts posting on LEEDuser will interpret official LEED requirements in order to apply them to a unique situation. In these cases, these interpretations are unofficial. To the extent that the reasoning is sound, and the expert’s credentials or project experience make their opinion compelling, users completing LEED documentation may choose to use this same reasoning, but would not be encouraged to cite LEEDuser as an authoritative source in the matter.
If a USGBC or GBCI staff person provides an unequivocal response to a question, however, it is similar to getting an opinion from them in an email or phone call, and you can rely on that response in your LEED application.
Do I have to pay to ask a question on the LEEDuser forums?
No, there is no charge for participating in the forums. You only have to register for a free LEEDuser guest account. Registering for an account also allows you to subscribe to receive notifications of new comments on a forum, which you can do through the link at the top of every credit forum area.
Someone has posted advice that I believe to be incorrect. What should I do?
Many situations encountered in pursuing LEED projects are complicated, and it’s not unusual to have differing opinions on how to interpret a requirement in a particular situation. Often through back-and-forth comments by experienced LEED professionals everyone gains a better understanding of the requirements and the situation.
If you disagree with a comment, we encourage you to reply via the forum with a polite rebuttal, backing up your argument with authoritative sources if you can. The person who posted the comment is most likely subscribed to that forum so she or he will receive you comment via email and may choose to respond back to you.
If you are concerned that a forum discussion is particularly misleading, in need of authoritative clarification, or is otherwise in appropriate, please contact the LEEDuser moderators.
If the LEEDuser forum is not an authoritative source for answers to my unique project questions, where should I turn?
If your question is not addressed by one of the official LEED sources, then we recommend either using your best judgment to comply with and document a credit or prerequisite and then await GBCI review comments, or, if you would like a definitive answer to a question, request a Credit Interpretation Ruling (CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide) or LEED Interpretation from GBCI.
Also, in many cases—for example, with a LEED Online form not functioning as expected, a procedural question on LEED project certification, or a need for clarification of a review comment—your best course of action is often to contact GBCI directly through GBCI's website.
Finally, it is worth noting that many questions on the LEEDuser forum can be (and often are) answered by a qualified professional, such as those on the volunteer team of LEEDuser Experts. If you are dealing with knotty problems in a specific area such as energy modeling or stormwater management, then bringing greater expertise onto your team is often the best route, and one that can lead to a more integrated project team capable of delivering the greenest building.