GBCI is moving to bring the work assigned to Certification Bodies (CB’s) back in house. Rumors to this effect have been leaking out recently, and GBCI President Peter Templeton has now confirmed those rumors.
CB’s were supposed to be GBCI’s answer to the LEED certification backlog. This was the rosy future that we at BuildingGreen reported on in June 2008:
“USGBC is now working with GBCI to train a cadre of “certification bodies,” firms that are registered through ISO to certify products and services, on how LEED certification works. These certification bodies will manage the process, but for technical reviews of LEED applications, they, in turn, will contract with GBCI-approved assessors. Initially, these assessors are likely to be many of the same people who currently review LEED applications under contract to USGBC. LEED applications under the new regime will still all be submitted through USGBC’s LEED Online software, which is being rebuilt to better serve both LEED users and the certifiers.”
As it has happened, LEED Online v3 has struggled with mixed reviews, and while the backlog of LEED reviews has improved, there have been concerns about consistency as the CB’s have sometimes given divergent rulings on LEED applications. (Closely related to this situation is the closing of publicly available Credit Interpretation Rulings. With CB’s now delivering CIRs, GBCI was no longer in a position to allow those to be precedent-setting.)
Now, GBCI will bring the work assigned to CB’s back in house. Reports in places like the Green Building Law Update and the Virginia Real Estate, Land Use & Construction Law Blog have offered some early reporting on this, and I’m happy to say that LEEDuser is also on the scene.
BuildingGreen’s (our publisher) president Nadav Malin had a sit-down interview in D.C. recently with USGBC senior vice president Scot Horst and GBCI’s president Peter Templeton, and recorded a frank and wide-ranging conversation that includes Peter expressing concerns about consistency and the distance between GBCI and LEED project teams, and indicating the change coming. It’s worth listening to the recording, which you can download and save for later, or reading the transcript.
There’s a lot more covered in addition to CB’s—look for great insights on whether LEED has done enough to push the market, and what’s coming with the LEED Pilot Credit Library.