The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has announced changes the LEED Canada certification process in order to streamline it to less than six months.
Faced with a large demand for LEED certification, CaGBC has already added staff to address backlogged projects and delayed Credit Interpretation Requests (CIRs).
The organization has also hired four new review teams for certifying projects, bringing the total number of reviewers to six.
Following a task force recommendations, CaGBC will also be implementing other changes. These include:
- Shortening the three stage certification pathway to two stages for LEED Canada NC 1.0 and LEED Canada CS 1.0 projects. Projects that choose 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.
- Investing in more sophisticated technology tools to improve the administration of certification.
- Introducing a design review process. LEED Canada NC 2009 and LEED Canada CS 2009 projects will have the option of submitting design-stage credits and prerequisites immediately following design. 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.
'We listened to the industry and have taken action. We've created an implementation plan that should shorten the certification process to an average of less than six months,' said Thomas Mueller, President and CEO, CaGBC.
'The demand for LEED is a positive sign of where the green building industry is going in Canada. It's the CaGBC's responsibility to support and better serve the market.'
Delays in certification also stem from the failure of applicant teams to respond to certification reviews in a timely manner. To streamline LEED certification, the CaGBC will be introducing measures to help encourage quicker response times from applicant teams.
'Everyone needs to play their part to make this work,' said Mueller. 'Even with the new two-stage process, timely review of materials is critical to achieving the goal of under six months. We strive to provide the best service possible to help applicant teams understand the certification process, and also provide training workshops to further build out their expertise.'
To assist applicant teams seeking certification, CaGBC offers a 'Speed up Your LEED Certification: Getting it Right the First Time' interactive workshop that discusses the more complex documentation requirements.
Anyone involved in project certification would benefit from taking this course. Additionally, early in 2012 CaGBC will offer an on-demand online session addressing the process associated with certification.