When it Comes to LEED Submittal Templates, Consistency Counts


A LEED project involves a variety of team members – the owner, contractor, electrical engineer, civil engineer, commissioning agent, etc. Many of these team members will be responsible for completing the submittal templates (aka LEED credit forms) for your LEED project. With this many people involved, it’s vital that everyone understand the importance consistency plays in the LEED process.

Uniformity is important in every project, but it’s particularly crucial in a LEED project. When you submit your LEED project for review, GBCI reviewers will scrutinize every piece of information on your templates. Not only will they review your templates and drawings to confirm that you meet the intent of the credits you’re applying for, they will also cross-check all of your LEED project templates to ensure consistency of details, terms and information throughout your LEED project.

Here are some tips for consistency’s sake:

• All items identified in the LEED submittal templates and drawings need to be consistently named. For instance, if the mechanical engineer calls a building a “garage,” all other team members must refer to that building as a “garage.” It won’t fly if your garage is suddenly referred to as a “vehicle storage building” by the electrical engineer. Discrepancies like this will be questioned by the GBCI reviewer working on your LEED project. No need for the added confusion.

• Your LEED project boundary is the foundation of your entire project, so identify your project boundary as soon as possible. Consistently call out your LEED project boundary on all of your drawings. There are a variety of mark-up tools you can use to electronically highlight/outline your LEED project boundary on your drawings. It’s preferable that you use a color that stands out to the reviewer and make a note identifying it as the “LEED Project Boundary.”

Note: LEED project boundary is different than site boundary. The site boundary is the property line, while the LEED project boundary is the portion of the site submitted for LEED consideration. Also, gerrymandering — adjusting the site boundary to benefit the LEED project — is a no-no.

• Make sure all team members use the same full time equivalents (FTE). This number is used in a few credits and calculations, so make sure it’s the same everywhere it’s mentioned. Same goes for parking spaces. Count and be consistent.

• Measurements — such as building square footage – and all calculation information needs to be the same throughout your LEED submittal templates.

I recommend that at the beginning of your LEED project you and your team get together and create a “cheat sheet” listing the correct terminology and numbers that should be used in drawings, templates and supplemental materials. As a LEED project manager, it’s your job to review the templates and drawings to make sure everybody played by the rules. In the end it will save you and your client time and money if you tackle consistency early in your LEED project.

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