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Understanding LEED Volume

For large-scale retailers seeking u.s. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED certification for their bricks-and--mortar locations, being "green" has become a little easier.

Until recently, many organizations committed to going green faced a costly and repetitive submission process to attain LEED certification for their property To address this, the USGBC developed the LEED Volume Program, which allows companies that have prototypical buildings with similar designs to apply for LEED certification in bulk. This can save many kinds of businesses significant time and money over the current, individualized process. To help retailers understand how the Volume Program works and whether they can or should take advantage of it, consider the following tips:

1. Determine whether the project lends itself to the Volume Program. Most chain-type facilities that utilize a standard building or facility design---such as retailers, restaurants, convenience stores, banks and gas stations-are prime candidates.

2. Know how the program works, and how it differs from the current process. Instead of submitting stores individually, the Volume Program allows retailers to submit stores in batches, which precludes repetitive registration and review costs. This simplifies the submission process, as most locations will be pre--certified within their prototype. Retailers can also have the commissioning process carried out by their own quality control or construction management teams, rather than their LEED and design consultants. Individual facilities, however, would be subject to spot checks by USGBC inspectors...

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