The certification process for LEED ND projects is different from certification of other rating systems due to the lengthy project durations of LEED ND projects, which can even take a decade. After a LEED ND project gets registered and registration fees are paid at LEED Online, there are three stages of LEED ND certification available (Stages 1 and 2 are optional):
Stage 1—ConditionallyApproved LEED ND Plan (Optional): Projects can optionally submit their prerequisites to GBCI beforehand in order to verify that they can achieve them. This review is called the optional prerequisite reviewand applies to the prerequisites under the Smart Location and Linkage (SLL) and/or Neighborhood Pattern and Design (NPD) credit categories. Projects that preapprove their prerequisites will get the status of “Stage 1 — Conditional Approval of a LEED ND Plan.”
Stage 2—Precertified (Reviewed) LEED ND Plan (Optional): To help projects secure financing or attract tenants before project completion, projects that are under construction or fully entitled can get this stage of certification.
Stage 3—Certified LEED ND (Required): This is the awarding stage of LEED ND certification if all the requirements have been met. Projects that do not need to pursue Stages 1 and 2 can directly pursue this stage to achieve their certification.
As is the case with the other rating systems, appeals can be made for LEED ND projects at any stage. Expedited review is also available in exchange for extra fees.