LEED Project Documentation

By Lynne Phipps, Taco Contributing Editor

Lynne PhippsEvery LEED project requires documentation to back up both the design process and the execution of the project. It is complete and proper documentation that determines whether that project receives the LEED rating it deserves.

Generally the critical responsibility to manage and assemble sufficient project documentation is assigned to a design team member with the LEED AP credential. These individuals are trained to be knowledgeable about the building certification process and to thoroughly understand the intricacies of the detailed record keeping required.

Auditing a LEED project can be long and arduous without a solid paper trail. However, making sure key elements are in place will simplify and shorten the process.

One key is to designate one individual as the project record keeper, and assure they understand their responsibilities.

Another is to start early. Don’t put off thorough documentation until “later.” It  is easier to collect relevant documents as events occur than it is to track down documentation after the fact.

A third key is to have a system. Make sure that every member of the project team understands what documents are their responsibility. Set a schedule to have documents sent to the designated record keeper: Daily, weekly, monthly—whatever makes sense for the size, scope and pace of your project.

The documentation for a typical project will include:

  • A listing of who is on the design team, their background and qualifications.
  • A listing of all team members who work on the construction of the building.
  • Documentation of design meetings, including notes on the design process, issues raised and concepts discussed.
  • A full set of process drawings.
  • A full set of working drawings.
  • A full set of specifications.
  • Documentation of the bidding process.
  • Collection of all contracts and contract specifications.
  • A full set of memos documenting any changes.
  • Documentation of all deliveries received and shipments sent from the site, including the sender and receiver.
  • Documentation of the building commissioning.

Not only must all of these areas be documented in their entirety, but all documentation must be categorized according to the LEED point(s) to which they apply. Linking documents to their corresponding LEED point category is critical to the LEED rating.

With key personnel and these critical elements in place, and a solid system for collecting the necessary data, a project is far more likely to move ahead smoothly, be successful as a building, and achieve its proper LEED rating.

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