In a process similar to the handling of credit interpretation rulings (CIRs), when a project team has questions about the technical details of a prerequisite, credit, or MPR, a LEED interpretation can be issued to ask for clarification. Just like the CIRs, LEED interpretations can be sent using LEED Online.
But the difference between LEED interpretations and CIRs is that LEED interpretations are precedent-setting, which means that every LEED project will be able to use it and will also adhere to that LEED interpretation. In other words, the clarification made in the LEED interpretation will be incorporated into the whole LEED rating system. A LEED interpretation will be published online on USGBC’s website for general access, and it will be subject to a USGBC consensus-based review, which will take longer than the review of a CIR (approximately three to six months longer).
However, CIRs are not posted online, and they are not applicable to other projects. The fixed cost of issuing a LEED interpretation is $180 more than the cost of issuing a CIR for both USGBC members and nonmembers. LEED interpretations are administered by USGBC and they can also become a part of addenda.