- How do I get my facility TRUE certified?
- What is the cost to get certified?
- How long does the certification review take?
- Can we submit for an expedited review?
- Can my project seek TRUE certification if it only occupies part of a building or property?
- Can I certify multiple facilities?
- My project is a multi-tenant facility with multiple tenants outside of my control within our legal property boundary. Can only the spaces I control be TRUE certified??
- Can a facility outside the United States get certified?
- Is there a list of TRUE-certified facilities?
- Do I need to be a USGBC member to certify my facility?
- Can I submit a registration form if my facility does not meet all the requirements?
- Why should my facility get precertified?
- How long is precertification valid for?
- My project is TRUE certified. How do I maintain the certification, and are there fees for that?
- What happens if my site is no longer meeting the TRUE minimum program requirements (MPRs) after certification?
- Can I recertify to get a higher certification level?
- Can I keep the certification if site operations have moved to a new location?
- Will GBCI be coming to my site to do an audit?
- Will I be able to speak to the person reviewing my application?
- What are Addenda?
- How do I know what new guidance to follow?
- How often are addenda published?
- Where are the addenda published?
- Does my project have to follow the addenda?
- Why are there multiple addenda for the same credit?
- How do I use TRUE's resources to best understand the addenda?
- What do I do if I have a suggestion or question on published guidance?
How do I get my facility TRUE certified?
The first step is to register your facility (or “project”) by submitting a complete registration form, payment of the registration fee, and a signed certification agreement. Upon submission of a completed registration form, you will receive more details on the next steps of the registration and certification process. The project must meet all the TRUE minimum program requirements and achieve at least 31 points to receive TRUE certification. Please see the TRUE Rating System to view the activities and performance thresholds included, and the TRUE Guide to Certification to learn about the entire certification process and timelines from start to finish. Certification is also available for events.
What is the cost to get certified?
The fees for registration, events, precertification and recertification are flat fees. The fees for certification are calculated per square foot of building space. You can view pricing for all TRUE certification pathways by visiting our Registration and Certification Fees page. Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with a program representative.
How long does the certification review take?
The typical review takes 10 weeks. There are several phases in the review process. The preliminary and final documentation review phases take 15 business days (3 weeks) each, with approximately one month in between those phases for you to respond to the preliminary review comments. The precertification and recertification timeline follows the standard certification timeline and process. See the TRUE Guide to Certification.
Can we submit for an expedited review?
Expedited reviews are available for an additional fee on a case-by-case basis. If you would like to request an expedited review, please write us ten business days before submitting for the review, providing the expected submission date and confirming that the project team agrees to the additional fees. This will allow us to determine whether there's a review team available with the capacity to accommodate your project on an expedited timeline.
Can my project seek TRUE certification if it only occupies part of a building or property?
Yes. A project is typically defined by the legal property boundary, which may or may not include multiple buildings. However, for projects within a greater facility not seeking certification, or campuses that do not have internal property lines, the project may define an alternative boundary that is wholly contained within the legally owned site. This could be one tenant space, one building on a campus, or even a subset of floors within a building. The remaining areas outside of the project boundary are not required to be certified. Please refer to page 4 of the TRUE Rating System for other important details and criteria for defining your project.
Can I certify multiple facilities?
Yes. TRUE offers a streamlined approach to reviewing and certifying multiple facilities. If your company/organization has multiple facilities to be certified or a campus requesting certification, please include those details in the registration form, or contact us at email@example.com for more information. After receiving the registration information, a team member will contact you to discuss certification.
My project is a multi-tenant facility with multiple tenants outside of my control within our legal property boundary. Can only the spaces I control be TRUE certified?
Multi-tenant facilities can certify with TRUE. However, it is typically not possible to certify only the "owner-managed" spaces (such as lobby and hallways) within a multi-tenant facility that contains several tenant spaces. As such, in instances where a multi-tenant facility is seeking TRUE certification, all action and materials generated within that project boundary (including tenant generation and action) must be included within the project scope. Please keep in mind that as an owner of a multi-tenant facility, it is important first to clearly set the project boundary (defined as the legal property boundary of the facility) accurately at the beginning of the process.
Can a facility outside the United States get certified?
Yes, GBCI can certify facilities outside of the U.S. and has already TRUE-certified facilities in over a dozen different countries. While the TRUE rating system can be applied worldwide, some references are specific to the United States; therefore, projects in other countries are responsible for referencing and documenting comparable local resources. Alternative compliance paths may be available for some credits.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about specific credit or minimum program requirements. A select number of featured TRUE-certified facilities outside of the U.S can be found on the project profiles webpage.
Is there a list of TRUE-certified facilities?
Do I need to be a USGBC member to certify my facility?
No. However, if the organization/company joins as a USGBC member at the Silver level or higher, it will receive a 20% discount on the registration and certification fees. In addition, membership provides many other benefits, including discounts on training, access to USGBC courses, and more.
Can I submit a registration form if my facility does not meet all the requirements?
Yes, a facility does not need to be ready to certify in order to register.
Why should my facility get precertified?
TRUE precertification is available to all projects regardless of the level of diversion performance that has been achieved. Precertification provides a framework to help your project get started on your zero waste journey and implement the fundamental actions needed for a robust zero waste program. Your project can get recognized for your efforts toward zero-waste and utilize an incremental pathway toward TRUE certification. Precertification also demonstrates your commitment to achieving zero waste and signals your intent to pursue TRUE certification. Learn more about the precertification process by reviewing the TRUE Precertification Guidance which outlines details about the requirements.
How long is precertification valid for?
Precertification is valid for three years. The project may still pursue certification if the precertification expires before the facility has applied for certification, but all documentation must be resubmitted.
My project is TRUE certified. How do I maintain the certification, and are there fees for that?
Projects registered before September 1, 2020, do not have a set term of validity. No maintenance fees are due, and no recertification is required, as long as the project maintains certification by complying with the annual maintenance requirements.
Certifications for projects registered on or after September 1, 2020, expire after three years. These projects, and projects that have not maintained validity by submitting annual data, must recertify to reinstate certification. Projects will need to pay the associated recertification fee and submit updated information to confirm the project is still in compliance with TRUE requirements.
Review pages 3 and 4 of the TRUE Certification Maintenance and Recertification Guidance for more details on the recertification requirements
What happens if my site is no longer meeting the TRUE minimum program requirements (MPRs) after certification?
Projects that can no longer meet one or more TRUE MPRs should contact GBCI at email@example.com describing the situation and which MPR(s) are affected. GBCI is dedicated to supporting projects with challenges while also helping them retain the recognition they received from TRUE, and solutions may be available.
Can I recertify to get a higher certification level?
Yes, projects may recertify and pursue additional points to upgrade their previous certification level. Review page 4 of the TRUE Certification Maintenance and Recertification Guidance for more details on the recertification upgrade requirements. If annual data has not been regularly submitted, you may still recertify, and that will be considered the required recertification needed to get the project back in good standing.
Can I keep the certification if site operations have moved to a new location?
Yes, projects that have relocated to another property can recertify by demonstrating that the new facility operates in the same way as the previous location. Review page 5 of the TRUE Certification Maintenance and Recertification Guidance for more details on the recertification upgrade requirements.
Will GBCI be coming to my site to do an audit?
No, an audit or on-site assessment is no longer part of the TRUE review process. The review process will be documentation only. GBCI may perform an on-site assessment for select projects for quality assurance purposes and will reach out to teams selected for audit in advance. If requested, a phone call or virtual meeting can be set up between your team and the assessor to connect directly and answer your questions. Please refer to our Guide to TRUE Certification for more information on our review process.
Will I be able to speak to the person reviewing my application?
Yes! At any point, you may request to set up a phone call or virtual meeting with the person reviewing your application and documentation. We recommend setting up a call after receiving your preliminary review report to discuss the assessor’s clarification requests and answer any other questions you may have before submitting your final documentation.
What are addenda?
Addenda are official updates incorporating changes and improvements to the TRUE Rating System and other published guidance documents to help clarify, correct, interpret, or provide alternative language.
Addenda should be referred to in conjunction with the TRUE Rating System and other published guidance documents.
How do I know what new guidance I need to follow?
Projects registered after the addenda is published must comply with the requirements in the Addenda. However, projects registered before the addenda are published are not required to comply with addenda published after their registration date.
While it is strongly recommended that project teams also follow Addenda published after their registration date, projects are only required to meet the rating system requirements in place at the time of their registration.
In case of a conflict between the Addenda and other guidance documents, the Addenda will supersede the guidance documents.
How often are addenda published?
Addenda are published on a quarterly basis. If there are insufficient addenda updates in a quarter, they will be rolled into the following quarter’s update.
Where are the addenda published?
You can search for addenda in the TRUE v1 Addenda Table, organized by page number of the TRUE Rating System and by category. This table is published on the Resources Page on the TRUE website.
Does my project have to follow the addenda?
Project teams must follow addenda published prior to their project’s registration date. It’s strongly recommended that project teams also follow Addenda published after their registration date.
Why are there multiple addenda for the same credit?
This is due to addenda being released for the same credit across different publication dates. Because project teams are required to only follow addenda published prior to their project’s registration date, addenda are separated out by their release dates so project teams can best understand what addenda apply to their project.
How do I use TRUE’s resources to best understand the addenda?
There are a few resources that have been published to support project teams in utilizing the TRUE Addenda. First is the TRUE v1 Addenda Table, which is the official published document outlining all addenda to the TRUE Rating System.
Second is the TRUE Rating System Addenda Redline, a resource designed to support project teams in visualizing the full rating system with all addenda applied. This resource will be updated annually as a supporting document, but all project teams should still utilize the TRUE Rating System and the Addenda Table for the most up to date official guidance on achieving TRUE Certification.
Other published resources and guidance may not be updated to match the most current addenda (as project teams using old addenda still need to be able to utilize these resources) so all resources should be used in conjunction with whichever publication of the addenda your project is following.
What do I do if I have a suggestion or question on published guidance?
Please feel free to let us know of any comments by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.