This credit is your project’s opportunity to demonstrate leadership in the green building industry and to let your team contribute creative approaches to the field of sustainable design. It’s also a great way for your project to achieve up to four additional points.
There are three different ways to achieve points under this credit:
There are plenty of opportunities to earn Path 1 ID credits through no- and low-cost strategies. A great example is green cleaningGreen cleaning is the use of cleaning products and practices that have lower environmental impacts and more positive indoor air quality impacts than conventional products and practices., which requires the use of low-toxicity cleaning agents, cleaning machines that reduce impact on indoor air quality, and training maintenance staff in hazard reduction.
Take a close look at all the sustainability practices that your project is already planning or participating in and examine the possibilities of applying them to an ID credit. Some opportunities include recycling, composting, procurement and cleaning policies, landscape management, education initiatives, and many more.
There is a consistent source of ID credit opportunities for all rating systems to be found in the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (EBOM) rating system (see LEEDuser's guide to EBOM for more information). Implementing operational practices and policies—for example, site management plans, purchasing programs, and green cleaning—can help you achieve ID credits and set the stage for successful, sustainable operation of your project building.
Operational credits fall outside the realm of design and construction, and the creation of a plan is easy with the available templates, but the commitment to implement the plan is just as important, if not more so.
It is common to use an educational program about the sustainability of the LEED project to earn a point under IDc1. Educational programs must consist of at least two separate components, including a kiosk, a website, a case study, a lecture series, signage, etc.
To meet the requirement of having two components, you should understand some key distinctions. For example, a kiosk in a building lobby is typically viewed as signage and would be part of an overall signage program, not a second component. The information presented on the kiosk may also impact how it is categorized—it should be unique from that which is presented elsewhere. For example, if a project team creates a website (educational outreach) and places a kiosk (signage) in the lobby, but the kiosk only includes a link to the website, both of these items would only count as one component of the educational program. In contrast, if a project team implements a signage program (signage) and a kiosk, but the kiosk includes an in‐depth case study (case study), this could be viewed as two individual components. The educational program must also be about building-specific strategies employed on the LEED project as opposed to a marketing or user education tool.
A staff sustainability team could be part of an educational strategy, but simply saying that one has been created in a narrative does not provide enough information. You should also provide specific information regarding the goals and methods of delivering the sustainable education component to the public or staff, such as work on signage, lectures, or outreach for home improvement, etc. Also, keep in mind that the group should distinguish itself from other strategies.
Innovation credits are often denied, but GBCI typically encourages project teams to try another strategy if one they have proposed is not feasible to meet the credit requirements. The credit may be denied outright with instruction to submit an alternative strategy, or denied pending clarification with technical advice asking for more explanation of how the submitted strategy is viable or the option to submit an alternative. Project teams may attempt new strategies in the construction phase if a particular innovation credit was denied in the design phase.
Consider whether one or both paths to earning points under this credit are suitable for your project:
No more than three of the points can be awarded for Exemplary Performance through Path 2, so to max out your points here you’ll need to also pursue Path 1 – Innovative Strategies.
Brainstorm strategies for ID credits (Path 1) early, and involve your entire team, including designers, builders, owners, facilities managers, and occupants. Consider sustainability strategies that may fall outside the LEED rating system. Find out if the team has worked on any past LEED projects that pursued interesting ID credits.
Using your preliminary LEED scorecard, note which Exemplary Performance thresholds might be attainable. Credits that are eligible for Exemplary Performance are noted throughout the LEED Reference Guide.
If considering Path 1, develop a list of 6–8 ID credits that may be appropriate for your project and discuss the opportunities, costs, and barriers to implementation of each with your project team.
When pursuing ID credits under Path 1 – Innovation in Design, use the published catalog of ID credits from pre-LEED 2009 rating systems as a reference for possible approaches. However, note that simply because a strategy has been approved for a project in the past does not necessarily guarantee that it will be approved on a different project. In other words, the approach must be specific to the project in order to be considered for this credit.
Attempt as many Path 2 – Exemplary Performance credits as possible. You can only earn points for three credits, but try for more than that, to maximize environmental benefit, and your chances of earning all three points—in case one falls through.
Setting these increased thresholds as a goal early in the process can be cost-effective and make the ID credit for Exemplary Performance fairly easy to achieve.
Innovation in Design credits developed for Path 1 must be comprehensive and provide a quantifiable environmental benefit. ID credits are not awarded solely for using specific products or technologies, especially when the product aids in the achievement of another LEED credit. For example, if you purchase highly efficient windows, you cannot gain an ID credit for this because it will contribute to the overall energy efficiency of your building, which is included in EAp2 and EAc1.
The intent of a proposed innovation credit cannot be identical to or repetitive of the intent of LEED credits within the rating system in which your project is currently pursuing credit points. (Looking to other rating systems for ideas, however, is recommended.)
Other rating sytems such as LEED-EBOM can be a great resource for ideas for innovation credits. (See LEEDuser's list of LEED-EBOM credits and associated guidance.) When adapting these credits, it may be appropriate to meld the requirements to fit your rating system. For example, if pursuing LEED-EBOM MRc4: Reduced Mercury in Lamps, you would not in a design and construction rating system be required to document the solid waste management strategy which is a part of that credit, which is operations-focused.
Create a detailed narrative or plan for the ID credits that you have chosen and coordinate input from various interested parties. For example, if you are developing a Comprehensive Recycling Plan, you would need input from the staff responsible for coordinating the collection efforts, the recycling company to confirm that they can expand the scope of recycling beyond what is required in the LEED prerequisite, and the occupants to confirm that receptacles for recyclables are accessible and convenient and that the expectations of what should be recycled are understood.
Target more approaches than needed, with the expectation that some may be eliminated during design and construction. Submit your five best approaches, but have at least one or two backup strategies in case any are denied during the design submittal review.
Verify that design-related ID credits have been included in the plans and specifications.
Complete documentation in LEED Online.
For Path 1 – Innovation in Design credits, documentation includes:
For Path 2 – Exemplary Performance, the ID credits are tied to those you have already documented for the standard credit page. This is an easy selection on the credit page.
Document as many ID credits in LEED Online as you can for the design submittal. This way you can have confirmation that you have achieved the credit. If your anticipated credits are rejected, then you can submit others for the construction submittal.
For post-construction or operations-related credits, circulate draft plans among the owner, maintenance staff, and occupants if necessary to coordinate important components of the credit strategy and confirm your approach.
Track your design-submittal ID credits so that you know whether they have been accepted. If they have not, read the comments from the reviewer and consider what it might take to achieve them or whether you might be better off pursuing a different ID credit.
If you choose to pursue a different credit, prepare the documentation for the submittal promptly.
Commit to implementing the submitted ID credits in the way that they were proposed. Ensure that policies and plans are followed through and that there are enough human and financial resources to achieve the goals of the credits. In some cases, the successful implementation of these credits will help to demonstrate the success of the project as a whole into the future.
Implement the operational ID credits that you submitted, even if they weren’t approved. Often these credits can have considerable cultural impact on the occupants by making sustainability strategies tangible.
Operational strategies are intended to provide a platform for continuous improvement, which often leads to both material and financial savings. Be ambitious in the implementation of these strategies, and continue to set high goals for your project, year after year.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Schools New Construction and Major Renovations
To provide design teams and projects the opportunity to achieve exceptional performance above the requirements set by the LEED Green Building Rating System and/or innovative performance in green building categories not specifically addressed by the LEED Green Building Rating System.
Credit can be achieved through any combination of the Innovation in Operations and Exemplary PerformanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. paths as described below:
Achieve significant, measurable environmental performance using a strategy not addressed in the LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations, LEED 2009 for Core and Shell Development, or LEED 2009 for Schools Rating Systems.
One point is awarded for each innovation achieved. No more than 5 points (for NC and CS) and 4 points (for Schools) under IDc1 may be earned through Path 1—Innovation in design.
Identify the following in writing:
Achieve exemplary performance in an existing LEED 2009 for New Construction, Schools and Core & Shell prerequisite or credit that allows exemplary performance as specified in the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design & Construction, 2009 Edition. An exemplary performance point may be earned for achieving double the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold of an existing credit in LEED.
One point is awarded for each exemplary performance achieved. No more than 3 points under IDc1 may be earned through Path 2—Exemplary performance.
Attempt a pilot credit available in the Pilot Credit Library at www.usgbc.org/pilotcreditlibrary. Register as a pilot credit participant and complete the required documentation. Projects may pursue up to 4 Pilot Credits total.
Substantially exceed a LEED 2009 for Schools performance credit such as energy performance or water efficiency. Apply strategies or measures that demonstrate a comprehensive approach and quantifiable environment and/or health benefits.
Supplementary description of ID credit compliance from USGBC.
Listing of hundreds of ID credit approaches.
Denali National Park and Preserve is the home to panoramic vistas that draw visitors from around the world. The intent of this innovation credit was to document efforts to protect and preserve the visitors center viewshed as part of the sustainable design of the facility.
An "active design" or "design for health" credit successfully earned an innovation point through IDc1 for a New York City project. The project wanted to comprehensively integrate into the design of the project features that would encourage regular physical activity in occupants, while also bringing environmental benefits. The project team hopes that other projects will use this thorough documentation as an example to pursue similar approaches.
We are installing a building dashboard at the School's main entrance Lobby which will display energy consumption in real-time and compare with a baseline. This information will be accessible to the public, stadd, students at the lobby and also online. I believe the information is good from the educational standpoint and also it can alert staff when one of the systems is not performing as planned, and they can fix the problem quickly. Can I submit an ID credit based on this? has anyone tried this with any success in the past. Typically GBCI will request some way of measuring the environmental benefits, but I cannot think right now of a good way to measure these benefits and what can it be copared against.
Eri, the dashboard would likely be accepted as an ID credit as part of a comprehensive education plan—not on its own, in my opinion. See our guidance above on educational programs for more background.
Tristan, I thinking about naming the ID credit something like "Real-time Energy Consumption Tracking". The installation of the dashboard would be the strategy.
I would not want to go down the road of establishing a comprehensive educational program around this, as we are also attempting the 'School as a Teaching Tool' credit. Perhaps the most valuable environmental benefit would be to quickly detect a problem that is causing high consumption (say, an open window, etc.) and fixing it therefore avoiding further energy waste. The Educational aspect is a plus, and can be exploited as a teaching tool, as many other "sustainable" features of the building (such as photovoltaics, pre-heat walls, vegetated swales, etc.) that are also helping on other credits.
Any thoughts? should I just try and see if it flies?...of course I would let you know.
Thanks for your help.
Eri, you could try it. My guess is that it won't fly, but I'm happy to be proven wrong. The reasons I don't think it will fly is that the main benefits are captured under other credits (IDc3, EAc5, and MPR6), and this is a single technology that doesn't represent a comprehensive program for measurable environmental benefit.
Yes, I understand. I had similar thoughts and believe you are right. I will try anyway and see what happens.
Can you still pursue and ID credit for user education if you are not pursuing IDc3, school as a teaching tool? Our high school project would like to have a user education plan in place but does not want to create a curriculum for the students. Thanks.
Lauren, I would say yes, but not with total confidence. They seem like distinct strategies, and education programs are such a common instrument in LEED buildings, that I think it would be more common knowledge if they weren't allowed in Schools. I also think the Reference Guide would say so on page 596 if Schools were excluded from a regular education program. However, there is always that chance that GBCI sees it differently. Anyone else have experience?
I've heard that under LEED v2.2 (and maybe under version 3.0 as well), you could achieve an ID Credit for installing low mercury lighting systems. Would this be possilbe to achieve under LEED for Schools 2009 as well?
Yes. This credit is pulled from the EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems. rating system: MRc4 Sustainable Purchasing: Reduced Mercury in Lamps.
Below is a response I received from a reviewer concerning a credit I took directly from the ID catalog which indicated that the credit along with supporting documents was acceptable. The reviewer disagrees:
"Additional project documents confirming that the elevator specified in the documentation from the Preliminary Review will be installed and an excerpt from the ID Credit Catalog have been provided. However, the ID Credit Catalog is meant as a brainstorming tool only to assist project teams in the development of new ID credits. Although the strategy may have been considered an innovation when awarded previously, it does not set any precedent to be upheld during a LEED Certification Review."
Maybe there should be addenda to the catalog if credits will not be accepted. Not sure how I was able to get this credit on previous project which did not occur very long ago. Is there addenda for the catalog?
Lisa, there is no addenda for the catalogue. I would say the reviewer is technically correct in that the catalogue is not precedent-setting, and you can't rely on it for an ID credit. A LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. is the more reliable, favored approach at this point (although it costs some $$).
That said, it would be nice if there was some consistency about what is approved and not. It's hard to tell from what you posted here if there is any technical significance in terms of what they objected to.
In 2007 Schools, can we apply for two ID points if we get our on-site renewable production up to 22.5% (12.5% + 5% + 5%)? 25.5%? This seems like a possibility if I read correctly the limit of up to 3 credits, but I wanted to make sure I am reading the requirements correctly. Thanks so much.
The Exemplary PerformanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. thresholds are usually given in the Reference Guide, and I don't have a 2007 Schools reference guide, so I can't check this.
However, I don't remember ever hearing of two EP points being allowed for the same credit, and this is not the case with EAc2 in LEED 2009. So unless you're reading this in the reference guide, I would say this is not possible.
Can you clarify or let me know your thoughts?
I've read in the ID catalog that post occupancy evaluations are supported for Innovation credits, but in 2007 Schools, the IEQc7.2 credit for Thermal Comfort: Verification seems to duplicate this. Can anyone give me guidance on whether we can do a POE for schools 2007 and apply for an ID credit, perhaps with a more extensive process and follow up?
It would be tough to say without a more specific understanding of your intent and how you'd go about it. Since IEQc7.2 does entail a certain level of POE, you could not get an ID point simply for following those credit requirements. What did you have in mind? And, given the effort involved in an Innovation in Design credit, I would encourage you to think about why this makes sense and what benefit it brings your project?
I have a client that has an extensive greencleaning policy that addresses the typical LEED-EB IEQ 3.1 High Performance Cleaning Program, but also includes 3.2 Custodial Effectiveness Assessment, and 3.6 Indoor Integrated Pest ManagementIntegrated pest management (IPM) is the coordinated use of knowledge about pests, the environment, and pest prevention and control methods to minimize pest infestation and damage by the most economical means while minimizing hazards to people, property, and the environment.. Can these each be applied for, for an ID credit for LEED for Schools (from 2007 not LEED 2009)? Is there a limitation for this?
Interesting question. I think you should be able to get credit for all three. However, almost nothing regarding IDc1 is precedent-setting, so there is no definite history to draw on to give you a definite answer. I'd see if your reviewer could tell you, or if not, I would submit a 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 simply submit the credits. Let us know what happens!
LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser
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