Building Operations and Maintenance

For details about this credit, including the criteria, reporting timeframe, applicability, scoring, and more, please review the full credit language:

Data Accuracy Video

Frequently Asked Questions

How has this credit changed between STARS 2.1 to 2.2?

Substantive changes have been made to this credit. Some of these changes include renaming the credit to more clearly communicate its intent. Electricity units are now requested in kilowatt-hours to help minimize data entry and conversion errors. Source-site ratios were updated to be consistent with US EPA Portfolio Manager. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the 2.2 Summary of Changes.

What’s the difference between LEED O+M certification and the more common LEED BD+C standard?

This credit recognizes LEED O+M certification rather than the more common LEED BD+C standard, which is recognized in Building Design and Construction.

For more information, take a look at the LEED for Existing Buildings eligibility requirements.

How can I determine if the LEED certified project on my campus received LEED O+M certification rather than the more common LEED BD+C standard?

This credit only recognizes O+M certified projects. LEED ratings are often documented in the LEED Projects Database. You may also consider reviewing your institution’s buildings web pages or checking with your campus facilities representatives.

Are there there other credits that ask for the same information?

Reviewers will check to see if the gross floor area and energy intensive space reported in this credit are consistent with Operational Characteristics (PRE 4/IC-2). A lower number may be reported under this credit if the institution excluded certain types of unoccupied space (parking garages, stairwells, etc.) from this credit but not others. Likewise, buildings for which certification is pending may be excluded from the calculations for this credit for up to 2 years following registration with LEED or another rating system. Valid discrepancies should be clarified in the Notes field. See related Help Center article on sharing information between credits.

Version 2.2

What are some examples of multi-attribute and single-attribute green building frameworks that count for this credit in STARS 2.2?

Examples of green building rating systems, policies and programs that qualify for each of the Buildings credits may be found here.

Version 2.1

What are the required components of an IAQ policy or protocol?

In order to claim points for a published IAQ policy or protocol, it should include, at minimum:

  • Regular auditing or monitoring,
  • A mechanism for occupants to register complaints, and
  • Action plans to implement any corrective measures required in response to audits, monitoring or complaints.

Simply referencing IAQ or indicating there is a standard is not sufficient.

Do green cleaning practices count for this credit?

Descriptive response must reference a published green cleaning policy, program or contract (informal or unpublished programs are generally not sufficient).

Can strategies for energy efficiency and water conservation be counted for this credit?

Descriptive responses for the Energy & Water Management and Benchmarking sections that reference strategies for energy efficiency and water conservation rather than management and benchmarking are not sufficient. According to the credit criteria, “Energy and water management and benchmarking programs include dashboards, analytics tools, and other mechanisms to assess performance, set goals, create and implement action plans, and evaluate progress.”

Templates & Tools

Example Responses

Version 2.1

  • Central Michigan University – Nice examples of IAQ and green cleaning policies.
  • Dickinson CollegeClear reporting for IAQ, green cleaning, energy and water management.
  • Emory University – Responses about LEED O+M certification clearly affirm that LEED O+M certification is being reported. Solid responses for IAQ, green cleaning, energy and water management.
  • San Diego State University – Responses about LEED O+M certification clearly affirm that LEED O+M certification is being reported.

Common Issues Identified During Review

  • Score outlier: Uncommon for institutions to earn more than 2 points unless buildings are LEED O+M certified. If a high score is reported, check closely for the issues below (incorrectly counting LEED BD+C is often the issue). 
  • If claiming any square footage under O+M Certified Space, response under “A brief description of the sustainable operations and maintenance policy/program and/or O+M rating system(s)” should include detail on the buildings, rating systems and dates of project completion. Detail on any reported uncertified space (multi-attribute or single attribute rating systems) should be included in this descriptive field.)
  • LEED O+M Certification – This credit recognizes LEED O+M certification rather than the more common LEED BD+C standard, which is recognized in OP 3. Response under “A brief description of the green building rating system(s) used and/or a list or sample of certified buildings and ratings” should clarify the rating system and level for each certified building.
  • Data consistency: Gross floor area and energy intensive building space should be consistent with PRE 4 if the same or similar performance year is used. A lower number may be reported under OP 4 if the institution excluded certain types of occupied space (parking garages, stairwells, etc.) from this credit but not others. Likewise, buildings for which certification is pending may be excluded for up to 2 years following registration with LEED or another rating system.

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