STEPS TO LOTUS CERTIFICATION
Step 1: Select suitable LOTUS program and conduct feasibility study
Currently VGBC have developed 6 LOTUS rating programs for 6 groups of buildings:
- LOTUS NC v3, for new construction or major renovation project with Gross Floor Area (GFA) from 2500 m2 and above (LOTUS NC v3 is applicable for both residential and non-residential projects)
- LOTUS BIO, for buildings in operation
- LOTUS Homes, for single-dwelling homes
- LOTUS SB, for small non-housing projects, with GFA less than 2500 m2
- LOTUS Interiors, for interiors fit-out projects
- LOTUS Small Interiors, for small interiors fit-out projects (GFA less than 1000 m2)
Together with selecting a suitable LOTUS program, you’re also advised to initiate the green process as early as possible, starting with setting green goals (for example, green certification level) and building performance targets (for example, energy and water savings targets, or health and comfort related targets, etc.). This is also a good time to start engaging green building consultants to conduct feasibility studies for your green goals.
Step 2: Register your project with VGBC
The Project Representative (“the Applicant”) will contact and notify VGBC of the intention to pursue LOTUS Certification. VGBC will send the Project Registration Form (which is downloadable from VGBC website) and prepare LOTUS Assessment Agreement.
Upon successful registration, the project will:
- be assigned a PIN (Project Identification Number)
- get listed on LOTUS Project Directory on VGBC website
- get access to a complete package of documentation (LOTUS Documentation Folder and Resources Folder) for LOTUS certification process, including Submission Folder, LOTUS Management Tool, LOTUS Calculators (Water Calculator, OTTV Calculator, etc.), additional guidelines (for energy modeling and CFD simulation) and templates
- be assigned a LOTUS Representative to help with clarification and interpretation of LOTUS credits
Step 3: Design and Submit Documentation for Design Review Stage
Ideally, at this stage the project team would have already engaged an experienced green consultant, and possibly some other specialists on building energy, MEP design, etc. to collaborate with the architect on analyzing and selecting suitable design strategies. Passive design principles and energy modeling should be incorporated as early as possible.
Step 4: Design Review (Provisional Assessment)
Upon completion of design, the Applicant has the option (but are not required) to submit for Design Review stage. The Design Review stage offers the Applicant an opportunity to review and improve its building design before the actual construction work is started.
The Applicant will submit a Notification Form, which contains the date when the complete documentation package will be submitted (the “Design Submission Date”). Within 8 weeks of the Design Submission Date, VGBC will issue Provisional Assessment Report. If the result is satisfactory, VGBC can issue a Provisional Certification. The Provisional Certification is valid for 18 months after the construction is completed.
Step 5: Build and Submit As-built Documentation
During construction, the general contractors and subs need to collaborate closely with design consultants and green consultants to ensure the green strategies targeted in Design stage are being implemented, proper evidences being collected, and documentation being prepared.
Step 6: As-built Review
Projects to be reviewed for LOTUS Certification would undergo a robust assessment process to ensure the fairness, independence and integrity of the assessment. In general, the projects will go through the following assessment steps:
- Submit for LOTUS assessment: the list of submittals is given at the end of each prerequisite and credit in LOTUS Technical Manuals. A complete set of documentation should be submitted at one time.
- Scan of the submission: the submission materials will be checked to make sure that it is complete. VGBC may issue request further elaboration and/or substantiation of the submission.
- Assign LOTUS Assessors: VGBC will form a Project Assessment Committee (PAC) to review submission materials. The PAC is comprised of VGBC project manager(s), technical experts and external independent experts.
- Comments on Submission: The comments of the PAC will be issued to the Applicant, who will then have the option to provide supplementary materials. Some site inspections may be conducted by members of the PAC.
- Review by LOTUS Review Committee: the PAC will prepare an Assessment Report to be reviewed by the LOTUS Review Committee
- Confirm Assessment Result: VGBC will issue the Full Assessment Report to the Applicant, within 8 weeks of the Submission Date. The Applicant should either confirm if they accept the assessment result or want to appeal. The appeal must be submitted within 30 days after VGBC issued Assessment Report. Further evidence should be provided to demonstrate how appealed prerequisites/credits have finally been achieved. The appeal will be reviewed by the PAC and replied within 8 weeks of reception.
If there are no further appeals from the Project Representative, VGBC will issue Final Assessment report. If the project achieves enough points, VGBC will issue LOTUS Full Certificate with the corresponding certification level.