Today USGBC announced the official launch of its new LEED Volume certification program. The program is intended for high-volume property developers, such as retail, hospitality, government, and other commercial developers. In order to qualify, a developer must commit to a minimum of 25 projects within a three year period.
There will be two tracks available to developers: Design and Construction (new construction) and Existing Buildings (set to launch in Spring 2011). After registering as a LEED Volume developer, the design team must submit at least one prototype design showing how they will insure that all successive projects meet the prerequisites and credits selected. This prototype design and documentation will be reviewed and approved. At that point, the developer can begin registering projects. Audits will be used to spot check compliance on specific measures.
“With a more cost-effective, streamlined process, the largest users of LEED are now able to make a larger impact on their building portfolio without compromising the technical rigor LEED has come to stand for,” says Scot Horst, Senior Vice President of LEED. “This program enables us to move further faster to our goals of green buildings for all within a generation.”
“With Volume, we were able to streamline the LEED certification process and, by extension, even our own internal design and construction processes,” said Gina Edner, Associate Director of Environmental Sustainability for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, a Volume Pilot participant. “We now have a comprehensive LEED roadmap.” More than 60 Starwood hotels across almost all nine brands are pursuing LEED certification.
“The Volume Certification Program simplifies that process and dramatically increases the incentive for retailers like us to pursue certification,” added Gary Saulson, Director of Corporate Real Estate, PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. Over 70 PNC projects have certified under the LEED Volume Program.
The new program is expected to save developers of 25 projects 17% on certification costs, and those who take on 100 projects 70%. The retail sector has been a fast-growing sector of LEED projects in the last year. Registered retail projects in 2010 are already double what they were in 2009. USGBC also announced the launch of the LEED Retail certification program earlier this week.
The new Volume program already has eight participants, and during its pilot period, 350 projects were certified and another 700 are currently in process. Developers are responding to the increasing demand for LEED certification, both for branding purposes and the incentives that are available for certification.
For more information and case studies on the LEED Volume program, visit the USGBC LEED Volume web site.
Logo courtesy of Greenbuild Expo.