More than 500 building projects have been certified through the LEED Volume Program since the pilot launched in 2006, according to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The program streamlines the certification process for high-volume property owners and managers, from commercial real-estate firms, national retailers, and hospitality providers to local, state, and federal governments.

Utilizing a prototype-based approach, the program enables large-scale organizational builders and operators to deliver a consistent end product, earning LEED certification faster and at a lower cost than would be possible with individual building reviews. The certification program was designed to meet industry needs for a streamlined approach to certifying like buildings and spaces across a company’s portfolio.

“Companies with a large collection of new builds or existing buildings are using the LEED Volume Program to transform their portfolios at a faster rate through a cost-effective, efficient process,” Scot Horst, senior vice president of the USGBC, said. “Reaching this milestone underscores the industry’s demand for high-performing green buildings portfolio-wide and allows us to move further faster towards our goal of transforming the built environment.”

Acknowledging that organizations can best identify the uniformity and similarities of their projects, the program is flexible in allowing owners to define the criteria for grouping similar buildings as well as the prototype LEED credits they plan to pursue. The volume approach also facilitates bulk purchasing and advance ordering of materials, reduced consultancy requirements, more efficient internal processes, greater speed to market, and more precise documentation of corporate sustainability efforts.

Later this year, the USGBC will introduce volume certification for existing buildings’ operations and maintenance, currently in pilot. To learn more about the program, visit www.usgbc.org/LEEDvolume.