In this follow-up to the Lessons Learned Blog dated January 27, 2011, I am happy to divulge more juicy lessons-learned from my Secondment here at the CaGBC (hopefully this time the blog won’t attract the paparazzi, reporters, fans (and protesters) that inundated us after the first blog!).
Lesson Three: Misconception of the use of (1) the Application Guide for Multi-Unit Residential Buildings (a.k.a. MURB Guide) and (2) the Application Guide for Campus and Multiple Building in LEED Canada-NC (a.k.a. Campus Guide). The MURB guide was developed to provide alternate compliance paths for any LEED Canada-NC 1.0 (with or without addendum) project that includes a residential component. The Campus Guide was developed to provide alternate compliance paths to help certify one or more buildings located on a campus (defined in the Campus Guide) targeting LEED Canada-NC 1.0 (with or without addendum). The common misconception is that if one compliance path was followed from either guide then ALL compliance paths need to be followed. To address this misconception (here is the juicy part), these two guides should be treated as though they are a buffet lunch: be picky and choose the compliance paths that suit your project needs and leave behind the compliance paths that are unfavorable. Just be sure to READ, include all submittal documentation listed under the compliance path followed and fill out that nifty Application Matrix as part of your upfront application so that the compliance paths chosen for each credit are clear to the review team! Oh, and one last point, like the LEED Canada-NC v1.0 Reference Guide Addendum, each credit needs to be adopted in its entirety from the application guides. The exception is for mixed use projects – the residential portion can follow the MURB guide and the commercial portion can follow the standard guidance.
Lesson Four: Documentation commonly not included in the first submittal package results in DELAYING the certification review process. Well over half of the certification applications require more documentation in order for the file to be reviewed by one of CaGBC’s third party review teams. At the CaGBC, any documentation that prevents the review from starting is appropriately called a “show stopper”.
Five Showstoppers for LEED Certification
Here are the “top 5” show stoppers that applicants “forget” to include in their application for LEED certification:
(1) A drawing that CLEARLY defines a LEED Project Site Area (used consistently across all prerequisites and credits);
(2) ALL Architectural, Landscape Architect, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering drawings in greyscale (please no coloured drawings);
(3) Signed LEED letter templates (these are professional declarations – please make sure that they are signed);
(4) Be clear and clarify your intent for LEED Canada-NC (or CS) EAp2 – Minimum Energy Performance (are we waiting for a third party review report or are your requesting that one of the CaGBC review teams perform a 3rd Party Energy Model review?); and,
(5) Your narrative does NOT need to “wow us” by describing the green strategies used in the design. In your narrative state:
(a) the certification attempted (NC, CS, CI, EB:O&M etc…) and the version;
(b) use of the building (office, residential, treatment facility, etc.…);
(c) FTE clarification (if required);
(d) a summary of the credits targeted in each category (complimented by the credit matrix referenced above if necessary); and,
(e) information as required under section 4.4 of the Application Guide for Core and Shell Buildings and Leased Tenant Space if your project has ANY leased tenant space (refer to the Part I of this Lesson’s Learned blog).
Lastly, to help make your certification application sparkly clean check out the “Certification Methodology” document from the new website and/or attend the “New LEED Canada Documentation Course (N.C. 1.1)”.
Final Lesson: The CaGBC puts a lot of effort into ensuring that project reviews are fair and consistent. If frustration strikes, step back, take a deep breath, come back to my lessons above and remind yourself that you are helping to transform the green building market in Canada through being involved in a LEED project.
I hope you enjoyed these few, but essential, lessons learned.
Ghislaine Johnson, LEED Technical Coordinator