Greenbuild 2010, Chicago—On Nov. 17, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the fruits of a first-of-its-kind collaboration with leading technology companies: a software solution designed to streamline the LEED building certification process. LEED Automation, the new program, allows interaction between LEED Online (the online tool used to submit project documentation and certify projects) and third-party technology platforms. To develop LEED Automation, USGBC partnered with LoraxPro, Green Building Services, GreenWizard, Southfacing, and Lucid.

According to the USGBC, the seamless integration between third-party software applications and LEED Online achieved through the app-like LEED Automation program enables three major functions:

  • Automates various LEED documentation processes;
  • Delivers a unified view of LEED project data to customers/users; and
  • Standardizes LEED content and distributes it consistently across multiple platforms.

By streamlining these aspects of LEED Online, the organization says system users should experience improved efficiencies in the data collection and certification process.

"LEED Automation allows USGBC and the technology companies to create multiparty interactions versus point-to-point communications between software applications and IT systems," said Scot Horst, senior vice president of USGBC's LEED program, during the announcement. "This will make the LEED documentation and certification process much more intuitive and enable our systems to talk to one another with the push of a button."

By opening LEED Online to third-party software application developers, the USGBC has taken the first step toward future partnerships that could yield greater innovations and efficiencies for the LEED building certification process. Already, the organization is working with more third-party developers, including CTG, EcoScorecard, BuildingGreen, iLIV, and SCI.

LEED Online users may request access to LEED Automation through the feedback button within the existing certification tool, or may contact one of the original partner developers to purchase their software. The USGBC also is developing guidance to LEED Automation that will be available by the end of January 2011.