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How to Certify Several Buildings under LEED?

First, let's look at how LEED interprets the notion of a building. For LEED, a building is an entity that shares functional spaces other than circulation or parking space.

Two buildings connected by walkways (even if this is covered and conditioned) or a car park cannot be qualified as a building in its own right. In this case, therefore, it will be two separate buildings which can either undertake two separate certifications or a combined certification.

If you wish to pursue a combined certification, you therefore have the choice of either registering your project as a Group or following the Campus mode recording the project as a Master Site, after which you can have each of the buildings certified individually.

Group approach: allows similar buildings that are in the same locality on the site to pursue a single certification for the group of buildings

Campus Approach: Allows buildings that are in the same locality on site and share common attributes to pursue common site-level certification and separate certifications for each individual building.

In order to be eligible under one of these two modes, the buildings must all be part of the same site, be managed by the same owner or developer and individually comply with the MPRs and LEED prerequisites. (See our blog post on the MPR LEED link)

How does this work from a certification point of view?

Here too, we must differentiate the Group approach from the Campus approach.

For a project under Group, each credit is documented once for the group of buildings. The group of buildings must be part of a single system and must be able to demonstrate that the credits have been achieved collectively. Buildings in the group must be part of the same construction contract and be built at the same time. For certain credits eligible for the group approach, at the site level for example, points will be awarded to the entire project. For credits which are linked to the building itself, points are awarded on the basis of the lowest number obtained. For these credits, it will therefore be necessary to submit separate documentation for each building.

For a project under Campus, a number of credits is first submitted to the master plan level. These are credits which relate to global aspects of the site and its development. For other credits which relate to the nature of the building itself, as is the case for the integration of natural light or energy performance for example, these must be submitted individually for each building. The master site will not receive certification per se. It is the individual or group buildings in this master site that will be individually certified. Each individual building or group of buildings must be part of a different registration. The goal of Campus mode is to simplify the documentation of common credits on the same site.

Do you need help determining what type of certification is best suited to your project? Contact us, we offer one-hour Consulting sessions to answer your questions and move your project forward. Follow the link here.



Our LEED Blog series have been developed for project managers and architects who work on projects with a LEED certification objective. This LEED Blog summarizes everything you need to know about LEED for a good implementation and a successful certification process. Don't forget to go through our numerous resources to help you guide your clients towards a successful LEED certification!

See the next post: What are LEED's MPRs ?


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