Satisfying the need for speedy LEED certification

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Canada certification is being sped up to less than six months by shortening certification pathways and increasing internal staff. The improvements will help deliver more certified green buildings at a lower cost. Photo © BigStockPhoto/Jordan Edgcomb.

The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) is accelerating the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Canada certification process to less than six months.

To better serve project owners and deliver faster certification, CaGBC has increased internal staff to address most of the backlogged projects and delayed Credit Interpretation Requests (CIRs). It has also hired four new review teams of consultants, bringing the total to six teams working to certify projects.

“We listened to our stakeholders and determined that we needed to make the changes to address their concerns about the length of time it currently takes to certify LEED projects,” Mark Hutchinson, CaGBC director of green building programs, told Construction Canada Online. “Our goal is to support the industry and better meet market expectations.”

Additionally, CaGBC is shortening the three-stage certification pathway to two stages for LEED Canada New Construction (NC) 1.0 and LEED Canada Core and Shell (CS) 1.0 projects, eliminating the need to audit credits and significantly shortening the process. Project teams choosing this option will follow a certification pathway similar to that used in the 2009 versions of the rating systems, and will benefit from a quicker and cleaner certification process.

“We will be introducing a design review process whereby LEED Canada NC 2009 and LEED Canada CS 2009 projects will have the option of submitting design-stage credits and prerequisites immediately following design,” explained Hutchinson. “The design review will allow issues to be addressed while the relevant parties are still engaged. It will also provide teams with greater clarity as to the likely outcome of certification, and allow for adjustments to be made before final certification, which aims to limit delays in the final stages.”

To assist applicant teams seeking certification, CaGBC is offering a “Speed up Your LEED Certification: Getting it Right the First Time” interactive workshop that discusses the more complex documentation requirements. Additionally, early in 2012, CaGBC will offer an on-demand online session addressing the process associated with certification. For more information on these courses, visit

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