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How to Get a LEED Rating for Any Type of Building

(Except Homes)


How to Get a LEED Rating for Any Type of Building

LEED Ceremony © Design Build Architects

Welcome! The steps to LEED certification are pretty straightforward (at least, in theory) and after involvement on over one hundred LEED buildings, I am happy to share my experience.

Step 1: Determine which LEED rating system to use.

There are almost as many LEED rating systems as there are types of buildings, so the first step is to match the building type with the appropriate rating system. LEED rating systems include:
  1. LEED for New Construction & Major Renovations (NC)
  2. LEED for Schools New Construction & Major Renovations
  3. LEED for Core & Shell (CS)
  4. LEED for Commercial Interiors (CI)
  5. LEED for Healthcare (HC)
  6. LEED for Retail: New Construction (Retail-NC) or Commercial Interiors (Retail-CI)
  7. LEED for Neighborhood Development
  8. LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance
  9. LEED for Homes is uniquely certified through USGBC program providers.

Step 2: Verify that the Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs) are met.

In order to qualify for a LEED rating at any level, there are minimum characteristics that your project must meet. Here they are! The project:
  1. Must Comply with Laws and Regulations Based on Project Location
  2. Must be a Complete, Permanent Building or Space
  3. Must Use a Reasonable Site Boundary
  4. Must Comply with Minimum Floor Area Requirements (1,000 sf Minimum)
  5. Must Comply with Minimum Occupancy Rates (1 Full Time Equivalent Occupant)
  6. Must Commit to Sharing Whole-Building Energy and Water Usage Data (for 5 Years or More)
  7. Must Comply with a Minimum Building Area to Site Area Ratio
Basically, the MPRs are an attempt to keep project teams from “gaming the system.”

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