Innovation & Design Credits are like bonus points for doing an exceptional job. For LEED 2.2 projects, two credits are available in the Innovation & Design category – IDC 1: Innovation in Design (maximum 4 points available) and IDC 2: LEED Accredited Professional (maximum 1 point available.)
There are two ways to achieve IDC 1: Innovation in Design points:
- Come up with comprehensive and innovative sustainable design strategies for your project.
- Go above and beyond the requirements of existing LEED credits that have the Exemplary Performance option.
You can use a combination of these strategies to get 4 of your ID points.
IDC 2: LEED Accredited Professional should be a piece of cake. You simply need to have a LEED AP work on the project. Provide the LEED AP’s name, company, a description of their role and a copy of their LEED certificate. Done! (Don’t have a LEED AP on your project? Hire one as a freelancer. To find a LEED AP in your area check USGBC’s Member Directory.)
Here are some other helpful ID tips:
- The LEED ID Credit Catalog is a list of ID credits that have already been applied for – and either been approved or denied: www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=3569. Look for ways to improve or modify these potential ID strategies for your project. (Keep in mind that just because another project received ID points for a particular strategy doesn’t mean your project will be given the same treatment.)
- Search online for environmentally-friendly products and create an implementation plan for using these products on your project. What about creating an efficient landscaping program that involves waterless grass www.waterlessgrass.com , no-mow seeding or a battery operated, self-mowing lawn mower www.lawnbott.com?
- Are you able to substitute any “standard” products specified for your project for more LEED-friendly products? (On one of my projects the Electrical Engineer switched all of the “regular” fluorescent lamps to Philips Advantage T8 lamps (they have the lowest mercury content in the industry.) By using the lowest mercury content fluorescent lamps available, we significantly reduced the concern of the disposal/recycle need for all fluorescent lamps within the facility. We were awarded the ID point.
- When writing the narratives, use the same style and tone that USGBC does: ID credit title, credit intent, credit requirements and your project’s approach to the credit.
- Think of ID credit forms/templates as “sell sheets.” You need to sell your sustainability ideas to GBCI, and the best way is by showing the features and benefits of your strategies.
- Give specific reasons why your approach helps the environment. For example, installing waterless grass on 100% of our project:
- Eliminates the need to use dangerous weed killers or fertilizers that harm plants, animals and pollutes the water supply.
- Requires no potable water for irrigation which protects and conserves the local water supply.
- No need to use a gas-powered lawn mower which eliminates the need for fossil fuels and prevents air pollution. Eliminating the need for mowing also benefits maintenance workers because they don’t have to exert physical energy to upkeep the lawn.
Those are just a few strategies for coming up with innovative ID credits. Can you think of any other tips or strategies? Let me know!
Sherry Bonelli, LEED Green Associate
Coming soon! When is the best time to submit your IDC1 credits for review? (The answer may surprise you.)