LEED for Operations and Maintenance: Enhancing Building Performance through Sustainability
In today’s world, buildings are responsible for a significant portion of global greenhouse gas emissions. They consume a substantial amount of energy, water, and resources, impacting the environment and the economy. With the increasing focus on sustainability and the need to measure and improve performance, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) has launched the LEED v4.1 O+M beta program. LEED O+M is a certification program developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to improve the operational performance of existing buildings. The program encourages building owners and managers to adopt sustainable practices that reduce energy and water consumption, enhance indoor air quality, and minimize waste generation.
LEED O+M has options to fit every project.
- Existing Buildings: Existing whole buildings
- Existing Interiors: Existing interior spaces that are contained within a portion of an existing building. Interior spaces may serve commercial, retail or hospitality purposes.
The certification process for LEED O+M involves a thorough evaluation of the building’s operations and maintenance practices, which can identify opportunities for improvement. The program rewards buildings that implement sustainable strategies and practices, as well as those that achieve measurable performance outcomes. One of the essential aspects of LEED O+M is its focus on performance-oriented sustainable strategies.
To participate in this program, project teams must register their project in the Arc platform and provide data to generate a Performance Score. The Performance Score is based on data across five categories – Energy, Water, Waste, Transportation, and Human Experience – and a minimum score of 40 must be achieved. This score serves as an alternative pathway to meet the requirements of two prerequisites and sixteen credits in the LEED v4 O+M rating system. To pursue this pathway, a project must commit to participate for a minimum of three years and submit for certification once and update certification at least once within that three-year period. The project must also earn all prerequisites and may achieve additional credits to increase the Base Score, which contributes to the total Performance Score. Once certified, the project must continue to submit performance data and documentation annually for at least three years.
Here’s how the LEED v4.1 O+M beta certification process works:
|1||Confirm Eligibility||Projects must meet three LEED Minimum Program Requirements and be fully operational and occupied for at least one year to submit for certification review. Precertification is available for projects not yet at the one year point.|
|2||Select Appropriate Rating System||LEED v4.1 O+M beta includes two rating system adaptations: (1) LEED O+M: Existing Buildings, and (2) LEED O+M: Interiors.|
|3||Sign Up||Register the project under the selected rating system in LEED Online at lo.usgbc.org.|
|4||Get Started||Registered projects receive extra support from USGBC and have the option to pursue Precertification. To complete the application for certification, required documentation must be uploaded, surveys must be administered, and a performance score must be calculated via LEED Online.|
|5||Certify||GBCI performs beta certification reviews. LEED v4.1 O+M certification is valid for three years from date of certification acceptance. Projects must provide data annually and recertify every three years to keep certification active.|