1. LEVELS OF CERTIFICATION
A project that is pursuing LEED Certification will need to comply with several mandatory requirements called “Prerequisites” and a series of optional requirements called “credits”. Each of these credits corresponds with a number of points. To certify, a project needs to comply with all prerequisites and obtain a minimum of 40 points. Higher levels of certification are available for projects that obtain more points as follows:
LEED Certified: 40 – 49 points.
LEED Silver: 50 – 59 points
LEED Gold: 60 – 79 points
LEED Platinum: 80+ points
The project team consists of the project owner and the design and construction professionals contracted by the owner.
The owner of the project is the person (or entity) who has the authority and control over the property and accepts the certification agreement with the GBCI (Green Building Certification Institute)
Design and Construction Professionals
The owner of a project, contracts different professionals such as an architect, engineer, builder, landscape architect. They, together with the owner, are considered the Project Team.
LEED for Homes requires on-site verification and performance testing. The Verification Team will provide these services for the project and consists of a LEED Green Rater, Energy Rater, and a Provider:
LEED Green Raters are your most important resource. They can walk the project team through the best way to incorporate the LEED for Homes requirements into your project´s planning, design and construction. LEED Green Raters provide the required verification through on-site visits, review of the project documentation and performance testing.
Qualified Energy Rater
LEED for Homes requires that the project is performance tested by a qualified energy rater. In most cases, LEED Green Raters are also qualified Energy Raters and can provide you with both the required on-site verification and performance testing services.
Each LEED Green Rater works with a LEED for Homes Provider of their choice. A Provider is an organization that will oversee the certification process and provide quality assurance of the verification services.
1. Project Team selects Verification Team and registration of the project
To start with LEED Certification, the first step is to contacts a LEED Green Rater and agree on the fees required to provide verification services for the project. The LEED Green Rater will be visiting your project site for a minimum of two site visits – often more. It is therefore convenient to look for a LEED Green Rater in your area. To find a LEED Green Rater near you, please check the LEED Green Rater European Network. It is also necessary to register the project on LEED Online platform.
2. Preliminary Rating
LEED Certification requires a preliminary meeting between the Verification Team, represented by the LEED Green Rater and key members of your project team early in the design process. As part of this meeting, the Project Team will create an action plan that identifies the following:
The targeted LEED certification level
The LEED for Homes credits that you have selected to pursue to meet the targeted certification level
The individuals on the project team accountable for meeting the LEED for Homes requirements for each of the selected prerequisites and credits.
After the Preliminary Rating is established, the LEED Green Rater will help the Project Team with the official registration of the project with GBCI.
3. Mid Construction verification visit
LEED for Homes Certification requires a mid-construction verification site visit. During this visit, the LEED Green Rater and Energy Rater will verify certain building systems that are only visible while the building walls remain open, such as the installation of the insulation, air-barriers, and ventilation ducting. This verification visit is mandatory for certification, and provides the LEED Green Rater an opportunity to observe your project´s compliance with credit requirements that are fulfilled over time, such as construction waste management.
4. Final Construction verification visit
Once construction is complete, including landscaping, the LEED Green Rater and Energy Rater return for a second mandatory site visit. During this visit, the LEED Green Rater verifies that you have met all the remaining prerequisite and credit requirements, and the energy rater conducts the required performance testing.
5. Supplemental documentation
Many prerequisite and credit requirements cannot be adequately verified through site visits alone. For those reasons, the Verification Team will ask to see appropriate documentation, such as project plans, material specifications, etc.
Once your verification team has verified all prerequisites and pursued credits, the LEED Green Rater is ready to submit the appropriate documentation to the LEED for Homes Provider for their quality assurance review. Once reviewed, your Provider will submit your completed application for a preliminary review to GBCI. GBCI will check your application for completeness and compliance using a two-step process consisting of a preliminary review and a final review. This two-step process allows the Verification Team to submit supplementary information and/or amend/clarify the application before making a final decision.
Once the final review is complete, you have achieved certification. Depending of your level of achievement, you will receive the corresponding level of certification.