Building as a Teaching Tool ID Credit Requirements

While working on a proposal for a federal project (the kind where you have to explain all the LEED points you're going to get before you even get the project!), someone suggested an idea for an Innovation in Design (ID) point based on the facility being a teaching tool. This is not a school, so it's not regulated on under the credit specifically designed for that purpose (IDc3, School as a Teaching Tool).

Instead, you must follow guidance from stemming from a CIR dating back all the way to 09/24/01. This may be old news to many of you, but it took me awhile to track this down so I figured it couldn't hurt to republish here.

From a CIR dated 09/24/01:

To take advantage of the educational value of the green building features of a project and to earn a LEED point, any approach should be ACTIVELY instructional. Two of the following three elements must be included in the educational program:
  1. A comprehensive signage program built into the building's spaces to educate the occupants and visitors of the benefits of green buildings. This program may include windows to view energy-saving mechanical equipment or signs to call attention to water-conserving landscape features.
  2. The development of a manual, guideline or case study to inform the design of other buildings based on the successes of this project. This manual will be made available to the USGBC for sharing with other projects.
  3. An educational outreach program or guided tour could be developed to focus on sustainable living, using the project as an example.

Be sure you cover your bases before wasting your time on a submittal that will surely be rejected!


Artful Dodger said...

In our practice, we've found that the amount of time and frustration put into earn an ID credit for this is usually not worth it without full client commitment. For us, we've found it far less expensive and surer to just purchase RECs. I think I've also seen a CIR that carbon offsets can count too.

Vijaya Yellamraju said...

The ID credit catalog available on USGBC website is a great place to find ID credit ideas and requirements. These were credits that were submitted by previous projects and accepted by USGBC. The credit that you mention can also be found there. Here is a link to the document on the website

Michelle Reott said...

This innovation credit should really be called Green Building Education. The School as a Teaching Tool is a LEED for Schools credit that develops curriculum related to the sustainable features of the school building.

Jackie said...

New comment, old post. For clients who can't invest a lot of time in Green Education, will produce a podcast about the project, with onsite signage that includes a tour phone number. An online case study is written and hosted on an open-source website The projects are then included on a free green building app (

Jackie said...

Old post, new comment. For clients who don't have a lot of time to spend on Green Education, projects can sign up to have a podcast recorded about the building from Signage is provided on site, with a tour phone number, and a case study is hosted online on an open-source website The project also gets included on and the folks at Green Building Audio Tours do your LEED ID credit paperwork!