Streamlined LEED, WELL Certification Process Released


Earlier this week, the U.S. Green Building Council, Green Business Certification Inc. and the International WELL Building Institute released a streamlined process for projects pursuing certifications for the LEED green building rating system and the WELL Building Standard.

According to the release, the process streamlines documentation for projects that are pursuing both certifications at the same time or that have already earned one certification and are looking to add the other.

“USGBC’s partnership with IWBI builds upon our shared commitment to driving positive health outcomes across the built environment,” said Peter Templeton, president and CEO of USGBC and GBCI. “Improving human health has been a foundational component of LEED since its inception and is the goal of each of the 10 concepts within the WELL Building Standard.

“By creating a streamlined process for LEED and WELL certification, we are encouraging every building owner and project team to adopt best practices that maximize benefits to occupant and community health.”

The USGBC reports that a new suite of tools and resources is available to applicants interested in pursuing LEED and WELL certifications, including:

  • LEED + WELL Crosswalk: This tool shows how individual LEED credits map to specific WELL features and vice versa. As buildings are being designed, project teams can use the crosswalk to identify where LEED and WELL are aligned and which strategies and initiatives support both programs;
  • LEED + WELL Submittal Form: This form is required for both LEED and WELL certification reviews. Project teams complete the form to identify which compliance paths are being utilized and communicate that information to the review team;
  • LEED + WELL Streamlined Certification Process Guide: This document outlines the process, requirements and implementation tools available to project teams; ad
  • FAQ / Help Center Questions: Found in the USGBC help center and the USGBC website, these FAQs speak to specific project questions and scenarios.

Additionally, the organizations note that the versions of LEED are now eligible for streamlined certification with WELL v2: LEED v4 BD+C, LEED v4 ID+C, LEED v4.1 BD+C and LEED v4.1 ID+C.

“Organizations are looking for actionable, efficient strategies to demonstrate meaningful impact on matters of climate change and human health,” said Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO, IWBI.

“This new pathway strengthens synergies between LEED and WELL, supporting projects pursuing both gold standard certifications. This strategic partnership underscores that human health and planetary health are inextricably linked.”

Recent LEED News

In November, the USGBC announced plans to update the primary version of the LEED green building certification program, LEED v4. The changes made to the LEED v4 certification will more directly address carbon emissions and climate change.

According to USGBC, updates made to the primary version of the LEED green building certification program, LEED v4, will better enable Building Design and Construction (BD+C) and Interior Design and Construction (ID+C) projects to demonstrate improvement in energy performance with LEED v4.1’s and LEED v4’s evolving needs of the market and build on previous versions of the LEED rating system.

The latest version of the LEED rating system is expected to enter the development phase in January 2023. After months of conversations with the global LEED community, it was decided by the Council that the development of the new rating system will be guided by the Future of LEED Principles.

In January, the USGBC announced its Top 10 States for LEED green building. Upon review of each state’s LEED-certified gross square footage per capita over the past year, it was determined that in 2022 Massachusetts returned to the top after losing its spot to Illinois in 2021.

In the state of Massachusetts, 96 buildings encompassing over 26 million square feet were LEED-certified in 2022, equating to nearly 3.7 LEED-certified square feet per resident.

Of those states making the top 10 list, USGBC reported that in 2022 1,225 projects and nearly 353 million gross square feet were certified under LEED. The top 10 list of states and their respective square feet per capita are as follows:

  1. Massachusetts – 3.76 square feet per capita;
  2. Illinois - 3.48 square feet per capita;
  3. New York - 3.17 square feet per capita;
  4. California - 2.44 square feet per capita;
  5. Maryland - 2.39 square feet per capita;
  6. Georgia – 2.25 square feet per capita;
  7. Colorado – 2.17 square feet per capita;
  8. Virginia – 1.89 square feet per capita;
  9. Texas – 1.67 square feet per capita; and
  10. Oregon – 1.43 square feet per capita.

As a federal territory, Washington, D.C., does not appear in the official top 10 list of states, but it has consistently led the nation in LEED-certified square footage per capita, in part because of the federal government and the District’s ongoing commitments to green building.

In 2022, the nation’s capital certified 46.06 square feet of space per resident across 115 green building projects.


Tagged categories: Certifications and standards; Design - Commercial; Environmental Controls; Good Technical Practice; Green building; Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI); Green coatings; Green design; Green Infrastructure; International WELL Building Institute (IWBI); LEED; LEED v4; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Projects - Commercial; United States Green Building Council (USGBC)

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