LEED Online Streamlines LEED Submission Process

By Mike Opitz, LEED AP, vice president of LEED implementation, USGBC  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Listen Up: Consider How Acoustics Can Complement Green Designs Pt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Green Buildings, Higher RentPt. 4: New LEED AP Exams Pt. 5: ASHRAE Releases Commissioning Certification

A key facet of the new LEED v3 is the re-launch of LEED Online — the tool LEED project teams use to manage the LEED registration and certification processes.

The new LEED Online offers several LEED project management improvements, including:

  • Project organization: Any user who is a team member on more than one registered LEED project will be able to sort, view and group projects according to a variety of project traits, including location, design or management firm, etc. Projects with similar characteristics can be grouped by those traits and viewed from their own screen.
  • Team member administration: The functionality for adding team roles, assigning them to team members, and making credit assignments is more flexible. Most notably, credits are assigned by team member name rather than by project role.
  • Credit assignments: It is now simpler and easier to assign one credit to several project team members, or to assign several credits to a single team member.
  • Status indicators and timeline: The system explains and displays all the steps in the review and certification process more clearly, especially which steps a specific project has completed. The system displays specific dates associated with each phase and step, including the target dates that each review will be returned to the customer.

The new LEED Online also offers many new features supporting the LEED certification review process itself, as well as enhancements to the functionality of submittal documentation and certification templates:

  • End-to-end process support: The new system shepherds each project team through the entire certification process, from initial project registration through all review phases and post-certification plaque fulfillment. The registration phase includes extra help for beginners to decide which LEED rating system is best suited for their project type, while allowing experienced users to get through the process quickly.
  • Improved mid-stream communication: During a LEED review, the mid-review clarification page will allow the LEED reviewer to contact the project team through the system if any minor clarifications are needed to complete the review.
  • Data linkages: Some data, such as a building’s gross floor area or full-time equivalent (FTE) occupancy, are required in the documentation for several LEED credits. The new version of LEED Online shares such data within a project, auto-filling it in all appropriate places after the user enters it the first time.
  • Automatic data checks: The new system will alert users when required data are missing, giving them a final chance to correct the error before submitting the application.
  • Progressive, context-based disclosure of content: Many LEED submittal templates have several options for completing the form, with users required to choose and complete only one. The new system will show only the data fields relevant to the user’s situation once an option has been selected, hiding all the extraneous content. The full content is still available for viewing at the user’s option.

LEED Online provides essential program resources to LEED customers, LEED reviewers, and USGBC and Green Building Certification Institute staff. The new system takes several leaps forward and sets the stage for the success of LEED projects and of the market’s transformation to a sustainable built environment.

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  posted on 7/1/2009   Article Use Policy

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