The impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for years to come—on the economy, on people and on our way of life. Remaining resilient—both in business and in life—will require every industry and individual to adapt at a pace we might never have thought possible.
Adapted Review Process
With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, GBCI has adapted our certification review process to provide project teams flexibility, help them update their certification work plans and extend timelines. Our goal is to steady the ship for our customers and focus on the health and safety of all people involved in certification and verification activities.
We are taking the following immediate actions to support project teams:
- Providing flexibility on the timing of required actions that have been impacted by COVID-19 (commissioning, surveys, audits etc.) and approving extensions of time.
- Our deep bench of reviewer experts is available to answer any questions and address projects with unique scenarios requiring special consideration. If you have a question about your project, please contact us.
- All COVID-19-related questions have been assigned to designated experts to ensure consistent, reliable and prompt responses by our technical support team.
- Rapidly developing and publishing common FAQs and solutions to certification impacts from COVID-19 for LEED, WELL and other GBCI certification programs.
- Developing and deploying remote site-visit options for Green Raters, EDGE Auditors and TRUE Assessors to avoid COVID-19 infection/transmission risk, while minimizing the impact on project certification timelines.
- Postponing performance testing for WELL projects until it can be performed safely based on local conditions; with Precertification an option for impacted projects.
- Extending the timeline for GRESB assessments by one month to August 1st to allow participants additional time to prepare and submit data
- Communicating that project teams can expect business as usual for review timelines (including availability of expedited reviews, upon request).
GBCI’s experts are uniquely positioned to provide all projects – past and present – with information and resources on top issues related to COVID-19. We will also continue to proactively share evolving best practices, assemble COVID-19-related certification feedback and guide users to carefully curated and trusted resources. Our team is here to help you and we welcome your feedback and ideas; please don’t hesitate to reach out with your questions.
We are committed to helping project teams adapt to the new reality we are facing and will continue to take the following actions to support you:
- Deploy and offer GBCI expertise and availability to project teams.
- Demonstrate flexibility and provide exceptions as needed.
- Update COVID-19 FAQ and sharing on all platforms.
- Accelerate pre-submission and post-submission information sharing on all platforms on a series of topics including facility management best practices for mitigating pandemic risks, better materials selection and increasing business and equitable economic resilience.
- Encourage project teams to develop and submit innovation credits related to workplace re-entry, social equity, pandemic risk mitigation and resilience.
- Review and validate LEED Safety First Pilot Credits. We have provided these pilot credits in direct response to COVID-19. The Safety First Pilot Credits focus on the safety of those working in the building as it is re-occupied. They are based on current, known information and may change as new science emerges about the virus and how it is transmitted.
- Develop best practices for electrical infrastructure using GBCI's PEER Safety Credits. PEER ensures that grids and power systems remain reliable, resilient and efficient.
- Adapt your zero waste plan using GBCI's TRUE Safety Credits.
- Prepare outdoor spaces for safe and enjoyable use through GBCI's SITES Safety Credits.
- Promote Arc Re-Entry. Arc has created a set of tools and analytics to assist companies with re-entering their buildings and facilities. Arc Re-Entry can be used to document and benchmark infection-control policies and procedures, collect and analyze related occupant experiences and measure and track indoor air quality.
- Promote the WELL Health-Safety Rating. This evidence-based, third-party verified rating focuses on operational policies, cleaning protocols and design strategies to address a post COVID-19 environment.
- Develop best practice guidance reports and pilot credits related to safety, health and wellness of workers for use by projects pursuing certification for GBCI’s suite of rating systems.
- Evaluate our certification delivery model for programs with on-site assessments (like TRUE). Consider a permanent transition to a remote review and assessment model (incorporating lessons learnt in immediate response to COVID-19).
- Link project teams to dedicated USGBC and GBCI webpages with curated content and proactively guide them to trusted resources.