D.C. Office of Property Management Issues LEED Certification Guidebook

Date: July 15, 2009

The District of Columbia Office of Property Management (OPM) recently released the LEED Certification Guidebook: Process Management Guidebook for Projects in the District of Columbia. The book is designed to guide D.C. agency project managers -- and external architects, engineers, and contractors -- through the design and construction process to obtain the highest possible United States Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Pursuant to the D.C. Green Building Act of 2006, new or substantially renovated public building projects must achieve LEED Silver status or higher.

The guidebook was written to assist OPM project managers who are managing the LEED initiatives planned in D.C. OPM currently has two large LEED projects in process, including the 350,000-square-foot Consolidated Forensic Lab and the Department of Employment Services Headquarters, both of which are pursuing LEED Gold certification. The guide is intended to facilitate the LEED process and to assist project teams in making sound economic and environmental decisions for LEED projects. It is not a replacement for the LEED Reference Guides, nor is it to be used in lieu of the services of a sustainable design consultant. Its function is to provide greater insight into the LEED process, specifically for projects located in the District of Columbia.

It should be noted that the guidebook addresses the steps to attain LEED certification under the old guidelines. It does not address the recent changes adopted by the USGBC in LEED v3, or LEED 2009. Despite this fact, the guidebook contains some very useful information, including the following:

  • Summaries of D.C. Green Building Act of 2006 and D.C. Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008 (including expedited permitting information and checklist of compliance verification documents to be submitted to the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA))
  • D.C. Green Building Code updates, with code changes that align with LEED criteria
  • LEED rating system overview
  • Cost of LEED, including hard costs and soft costs
  • Managing LEED certification by project phase, including charts with compliance verification documents to be submitted to DCRA in each phase
  • LEED project management matrix
  • Steps to LEED certification, with action items detailed for each step
  • Specification guidance for construction progress reporting and documentation
  • LEED general resources
  • Glossary of terms

The D.C. LEED Certification Guidebook can be found here. It is also posted on the OPM website under "Construction Division."