requirements of an Innovation In Design or ID credit and how it might apply to interior plants

By: Joe Zazzera, LEED AP, GRP |  May 14, 2009 | topics: LEED, Innovation in Design Credit, Green Building Rating System

The intent of an Innovation in Design credit is to provide the opportunity to achieve exceptional performance above the requirements set by the LEED rating system and/or innovative performance in categories not specifically addressed by the LEED Green Building Rating System.

The basic requirements can be achieved through several paths or a combination of those paths.  The Innovation in Design path requires you to achieve significant measurable environmental performance using a strategy not addressed in the LEED rating system. A submittal under this path must include the intent, the requirements for compliance, the submittals to demonstrate compliance and the approach or strategy.

A second path would be exemplary performance, which would essentially be for doubling the credit point requirements or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold for and existing credit in LEED. This path would not be available for indoor plants since plants are not currently in the rating system.

To my knowledge, there has never been a credit award for indoor plants in any category of the USGBC LEED rating system. I know of two Canadian projects that have received awards in the ID category, both for green biofiltration walls.

It is our hope to find a project that is willing to submit for an ID credit under LEED, as a means of getting indoor plants into the rating system. As part of that submittal, we believe an educational component, about the benefits of live indoor plants would be well received and go a long way towards LEED acceptance.

To all of you involved at the local or national level, keep your eye out for a project that might be a good candidate for submittal under ID.  It will require an owner that believes in what we do and is wiling to not only pay the submittal fees under LEED but risk not getting the award even after submittal.

If we can get just one submittal through the system, I believe it will set a precedent and open the door for other building owners to act.  Once it becomes common knowledge of the availability of live indoor plants within the LEED rating system, there will be yet one more benefit for owners to use indoor plants on their projects.