Frequently Asked Questions

We committed to LEED certifying our project - now what?

LoraxPRO users find the LEED process demystified, simplified, and compartmentalized with specific tasks identified to accomplish each LEED credit. Users start the integrated design process by using the LoraxPRO Charrette, then manage the project using the Credit Wizards, Tasks and Documents Tracking, and the Materials Module along with the LEED Schedule Module. LoraxPRO helps project teams drive down the time costs associated with the LEED certification process freeing up team members to focus on higher value-add activities.

How do we get started with LEED?

The LoraxPRO charrette is a perfect tool to help project teams get started with their LEED project. LoraxPRO helps project teams identify universal project data, determine the owners project requirements, facilitate an integrated design process, assign credits and tasks, then track progress toward credit accomplishment and ultimate LEED certification.

What standards apply to this credit?

LEED references multiple government and industry standards including ASHRAE energy standards, EPA environmental standards, FSC wood standards, and others. Each LEED credit within LoraxPRO calls out referenced industry standards and provides links to these standards for ready reference.

Who is doing what?

There are many areas within LoraxPRO to help teams more effectively manage a LEED project. Credits are assigned to project team members along with tasks associated with accomplishing the selected credits. The LoraxPRO Reports Module is designed to give all project team members a management tool with key metrics on completed and in-process tasks, documents completed pending submission, and other critical information so you will always be prepared in your design meetings.

Where’s my data?

Your data exists in LoraxPRO. Whether it is a current project or a project that was certified years ago, you can always access your data for reporting, ongoing certification questions, or as a historical record to apply to future projects.

Where did this inconsistent project data come from?

The most common error made by project teams is using inconsistent data in calculating various LEED credits. Inconsistent data leads to credits being disallowed upon submittal – this requires a significant amount of time and costs as credit submissions are re-worked. LoraxPRO requires users to input all Universal Project Data into a central point, then logs any changes to this data as the project progresses. All data required for LEED calculations is based off this Universal Data set allowing teams to maintain data integrity throughout the project.

Did we finish everything for that credit?

The LoraxPRO Document Module and Task Module allows project teams to monitor everything required to complete the selected LEED credits for the project. These easy-to-use modules simplify the project management process and allow project teams the ability to see exactly which tasks and documents are completed and ready for submission, and which tasks and documents remain in-process. This level of tracking and coordination saves project teams countless hours in organizing their LEED submission.

How can I deal with LEED project communication breakdowns?

Coordination and communication is the essence of a successful green building project and accomplishing a LEED certification – this starts in the charrette with an integrated design process and continues throughout the design and construction process. LoraxPRO provides a platform for the entire project team to coordinate meetings and communicate issues, responsibilities, and reminders.

How can I make my LEED project team more accountable?

LoraxPRO serves as a system of record. Project managers can determine how far along team members are with their assigned tasks, know when the last time a team member logged onto LoraxPRO, review documents and progress, and distribute meaningful reports via email among other features. Communication, coordination and accountability are purposefully designed into LoraxPRO so project teams can be more effective in their green building efforts.

How do I manage multiple LEED projects?

Anyone who has worked on multiple LEED projects knows the complexity and management intensiveness of a single LEED project is difficult enough without trying to track multiple projects. LoraxPRO allows users to easily manage the complexity of multiple LEED projects by coordinating project teams, breaking down credit and task assignments, tracking materials, and managing USGBC submittal documentation. LoraxPRO users have the option to either work on multiple credits within a single project or work on a single credit across multiple projects in a seamless fashion.

Where do you find that information?

LoraxPRO is a tremendous resource in both accomplishing LEED credits and managing your project. Built-in features include links to relevant internet-based resources and documents, credit interpretations published by the USGBC, industry standards, LORAXpedia definitions, and other relevant information. Project teams are encouraged to upload additional pertinent information, adding to this robust resource collection.

What is an impervious surface?

LoraxPRO users have access to LORAXpedia, a database with thousands of definitions on green building attributes. LORAXpedia helps project teams save time and effort by quickly getting on the same page regarding specific green building issues.

Does this product help us with more than one LEED credit?

The LoraxPRO Materials module is a significant feature that allows project teams the ability to understand how a single material’s attributes can apply across multiple LEED credits. For example, a material may meet the regionally harvested/extracted LEED criteria while also containing pre- and post-consumer recycled content making this material applicable to at least two LEED credits. LoraxPRO tracks this material’s contribution to achieving both of these LEED credits saving project teams significant time and effort when tracking their materials.

How do I get a LEED Innovation credit?

Many LEED credits are eligible for exemplary performance which gives project teams opportunities to achieve a LEED Innovation credit – these exemplary performance credits are specifically called out within LoraxPRO. Additionally, the USGBC has published a list of activities that are eligible for Innovation credit which is available to LoraxPRO project teams.

Are we eligible for this LEED credit?

LoraxPRO clearly spells out the requirements for achieving various LEED credits as well as options available for achieving the credit. Eligibility for a LEED credit is subject to project-specific opportunities and constraints. LoraxPRO helps project teams more efficiently determine whether the project can meet LEED credit eligibility requirements, eliminating many hours of research and effort.

Where can I get a LEED project status report?

oraxPRO has a number of tools to help project teams track their project status, prepare for meetings, and more effectively communicate/coordinate among team members. The Reports module is a critical project management tool allowing teams to view the status and progress of all LEED credits attempted including specific tasks required to complete a credit and documents necessary for final USGBC submittal. The Reports module includes detailed project information including Universal Data, credit assignments, document status, charrette information, the overall project checklist, a materials report, and more.

Where are my LEED submittal documents?

Within each Credit page, documents required for that LEED credit are shown on the upper right – when a project team finishes a document it is uploaded and marked as ‘complete’. The Documents tab in LoraxPRO provides access to all documents required by the USGBC for the LEED points attempted by the project team as well as their status (‘complete’ or ‘missing’).

How can we simplify repetitive LEED tasks?

In short, use LoraxPRO. From uploading Materials information, auto-filing forms with inputted or derived data, or researching background information for LEED credits, LoraxPRO is designed to help you at each step. Project teams are generally a few clicks away from key information needed to complete a LEED credit including referenced industry standards, USGBC CIR’s, and other items. If a known number from the Universal Data Set is used in a calculation, LoraxPRO is designed to populate the data for you greatly reducing error potential.

How did we accomplish that credit in our last project?

LoraxPRO users can manage multiple projects at once, referring to credit strategies from current or previous projects. Once a project is submitted, reviewed and certified, users can continue to access their project data on LoraxPRO to see how the credit was accomplished.

How can we simplify the construction material tracking process?

Use the “Materials” tab in LoraxPRO to manage all the project materials in one central location. Each material entered has areas to indicate that material’s contribution to various LEED credits including recycled content, regional materials, low emitting materials, rapidly renewable, and FSC certified wood content. You can upload all supporting documentation for that material for easy submission to USGBC.

What’s next?

The LoraxPRO Schedule module layers a LEED-related schedule over the Project schedule helping teams understand what upcoming milestones and tasks are necessary so as to not miss an opportunity to attain various LEED points.

What is a CIR?...and where can I find them?

A CIR is a Credit Interpretation Request previously submitted by a project team to the USGBC. CIR’s describe a situation relevant to a specific LEED credit and seeks guidance from the USGBC as to the applicability of the situation/strategy. The USGBC’s response offers ruling guidance on whether the situation is acceptable given the parameters of the LEED credit in question.

CIR rulings set precedent – projects are bound by all CIR’s issued prior to project registration. You can find relevant CIR's on every Credit page within LoraxPRO as well as by using the LoraxPRO search feature.

What do you mean we can’t get this LEED credit?

This is a common question project teams may confront at some point in the project – most times this is both inadvertent and avoidable. Project teams using LoraxPRO have several tools available including the Materials module, Schedule module, the Charrette, CIR’s, and others to help teams avoid this pitfall.

Where are my LEED submittal documents?

The Documents tab in LoraxPRO allows project teams to track and view all documents uploaded to date as the project progresses from the design stage into construction and towards the submission stage. Besides the Documents tab, each Credit page displays both ‘uploaded’ and ‘missing’ documents

When should we start the energy model?

The LoraxPRO Schedule module guides project teams on areas where the design/development schedule overlap with critical LEED-based activities. The energy model is a continuous process that gets more detailed, refined, and accurate as design progresses and various scenarios are considered. In general, the energy model should be started as soon as practical within the project’s design process as it can help project teams hone their focus from heating to cooling or lighting as the various loads become clear. Ultimately, the energy model can be a powerful tool in an effective integrated design process and should be started as early as possible.

Too often, the energy model becomes operational so late in the design process that opportunities to use it to guide design decisions have been lost, and the model is instead used as a record-keeping exercise.

How do you make Integrated Design effective?

An integrative process mandates more coordination, communication, and encourages rigorous questioning by challenging typical assumptions and design rules-of-thumb at project onset. Coordinating building systems and site opportunities/constraints must be addressed early with all assumptions questioned before schematic design starts. Project teams must commit to specific measurable goals on key systems for integrated design to take hold.

Communication is critical – LoraxPRO provides several tools to increase teamwork and communication. The LoraxPRO Charrette can be used to get all team members on the same page, breaking down silos and expanding everyone’s perspective as to the thought processes and concerns of other team member’s disciplines on the most basic standpoints of building form, orientation, daylighting, habitat and microclimate impacts, effects on ongoing operations, and overall building flexibility.

One rule of thumb is “The 3 E’s”:

  • Every Team Member
  • Every Issue
  • Early in the Project

Depending on the project type, certain disciplines should become part of the design process:

  • An experienced Energy Modeler
  • Daylighting Modeler
  • Lighting Designer
  • Commissioning Authority
  • Landscape Architect / Civil Engineer [ecological systems background]
  • Green materials / specifications expertise
  • Building Engineer / Operations team
  • Experienced group meeting facilitator

What’s the difference between Fundamental Commissioning and Enhanced Commissioning?

Under the LEED Energy and Atmosphere category, fundamental commissioning is a prerequisite – no project can become LEED certified without performing fundamental commissioning. Enhanced commissioning is a LEED credit which requires additional measures to earn this point. Many aspects of project team coordination, design, and construction require upfront work by the commissioning agent making their early involvement critical to a successful certification.

LoraxPRO helps teams determine when to start the commissioning process and triggers specific tasks and due dates associated with Fundamental and Enhanced Commissioning.

When should this occur in the schedule?

The LoraxPRO Schedule module is a key project management tool that overlays the LEED-based schedule on top of the overall project schedule. This works to coordinate tasks required to achieve a LEED credit with the normal project schedule. As situations come up requiring a change or delay in the project schedule, the LEED schedule overlay moves along with it, updating task due dates and other critical LEED-based activities.

Who was assigned to finishing that credit?

All credits being attempted are assigned to a project team member along with the tasks associated with completing that credit. When memories get short, LoraxPRO has ready answers regarding who is assigned to a credit, when that assignment took place, and when various tasks necessary for successful credit completion are due. The LoraxPRO Reports function helps project teams stay on track by identifying credits, tasks, and issues to be resolved along the path to LEED certification.

Whose idea (to build and certify a green project) was this?

The idea was yours – and it was a great idea that will benefit the project over the long term. The integrated design process along with the discipline that LEED provides, reinforced and facilitated by LoraxPRO, generally leads to a superior building.

Tell me more about The LoraxPRO Guarantee.

It's as simple as it sounds. If you are not fully satisfied that LoraxPRO provides your project team significant value over the duration of your LEED project, you may Contact Us and we will refund your license fee. We appreciate every opportunity to design great software that serves our customer's needs and look forward to having all of our customers become as fanatic about LoraxPRO as we are.