BOMA BEST Program policies
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 1 – Application Fees
BOMA BEST® Sustainable Buildings 3.0 application fees are listed at here. Where application fees are based on size of building by square footage, the following conditions must be met:
- Total size of building shall be determined as the total Gross Floor Area (GFA).
The GFA must include the following areas:
- Tenant Areas
- Common Areas
- Meeting Rooms
- Break Rooms
- Atriums (ground floor only)
- Elevator Shafts
- Mechanical Equipment Areas
- Storage Rooms
- Parking Area – Underground or closed indoor parking serviced by mechanical ventilation must be included in the gross floor area of the building.
The GFA must exclude the following areas:
- Exterior spaces
- Exterior Loading Docks
- Covered Walkways
- Outdoor Courts (Tennis, Basketball, etc.)
- The interstitial plenum space between floors (which house pipes and ventilation)
- Crawl Spaces
- Parking Area – Outdoor or open-air parkades must be excluded from the gross floor area of the building.
This definition is consistent with ANSI/BOMA Standard Z65.3-2009.
The GFA used to calculate fees must be entered on the building registration page (“Create New” page) here:
Note: This definition is not consistent with the definition used to determine GFA for the purposes of benchmarking energy and water using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.
- Where applicants register a building using the incorrect questionnaire type, the Local BOMA Association reserves the right to deny an applicant’s building registration; or, if accepted, notify the applicant of building size category change as deemed appropriate.
BOMA Canada reserves the right to change the Application Fees from time to time. BOMA Canada and its Local BOMA Associations shall endeavour to communicate to BOMA Members and other BOMA BEST stakeholders prior to application fee change, but cannot guarantee a specific time period for such notice.
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 2 – Application Fee Refund
Applicants may obtain a refund for an application fee within the first thirty (30) days of the building’s registration provided verification has not been completed for the building.
Beyond the thirty (30) day period, no refunds will be provided. In the event where a building is sold to another company, the application fee remains with the building itself, not the management or owner company that originally registered it. The new management or owner companies may continue the building’s certification process at no additional costs provided the online application period is compliant with BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 4 – Online Application Period. An application fee cannot be transferred to another building.
In all cases, no refund for an application fee shall be granted for the purpose of compensation where BOMA BEST certification was not achieved or where the desired level was not achieved after pursuing a Score Upgrade.
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 3 – Eligibility Criteria
Applicable to all building types: Office, Enclosed Shopping Centre, Health Care, Light Industrial, Multi-Unit Residential Buildings, Open Air Retail, Universal.
Buildings shall be deemed eligible to participate in the BOMA BEST 3.0 certification program if all the following conditions are met at the time of application:
- The building must have reached a minimum average occupancy rate of 50% for a period of one (1) year representing 12 consecutive months, at a minimum.
a) Buildings with an average occupancy rate equal to or above 50% for the past consecutive 12 months are eligible to achieve the BOMA BEST Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum certification levels.
b) Buildings with an average occupancy rate below 50% for the past consecutive 12 months may be eligible to achieve the BOMA BEST Certified level only. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- The applicant must select the questionnaire type that matches the definition of that building’s asset class. Building Definitions are available here.
- Buildings in the Portfolio Stream must must operate under a common management company, using common management policies.
- Buildings in the Portfolio Stream may be located across the country. They do not need to be within the same geographical space, nor be represented by the same Local BOMA Association.
Occupancy rate represents the percentage of actively leased floor area compared to the total gross leasable area:
(Average actively leased area in past 12 months / Total available Gross Leasable Area) x 100
Note 1: Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the occupant density – i.e., the number of occupants actually inside the building on a given day – may be variable. The variability of the occupant density should not have an impact on the building’s occupancy rate, which is dependent on leased space. Review the Guidance for BOMA BEST – Impact of COVID-19 for instructions on how to answer specific questions in light of the impacts of COVID-19.
Note 2: The eligibility requirement described here is applicable to BOMA BEST 3.0 exclusively. The eligibility requirement for participation in BOMA BEST 4.0 – the next iteration of BOMA BEST – will be communicated in 2022.
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 4 – Online Application Period
Applicants will have a period of up to six (6) months to complete the BOMA BEST online assessment survey beginning on the date access has been granted to the online questionnaire.
If the building is not ready for verification after the six (6) month period, the Applicant can contact BOMA Canada (Portfolio Program stream) or the designated Local BOMA Association (Single Building stream) for an application period extension. Up to six (6) months can be given as an extension. If no extension is requested, BOMA Canada or the designated Local BOMA Association reserves the right to render the file inactive based on its best judgement but not before attempts are made to communicate with the Applicant.
Should an application become inactive due to an elapsed period of six (6) to twelve (12) months, the Applicant must contact BOMA Canada (Portfolio Program stream) or the designated Local BOMA Association (Single Building stream) to discuss reactivation.
In all cases, after twelve (12) months have elapsed from the date access was granted to the online assessment the file will be rendered permanently inactive. BOMA Canada or the Local BOMA Association may do so without prior contact with the Applicant. Applicants wishing to continue pursuing a BOMA BEST certification after the twelve (12) month period has elapsed on their original application will be required to pay a new BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings Application Fee. The Applicant may be required to use the most recent version of the BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings questionnaire.
Refunds for incomplete assessments cannot be issued, as per BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 2 – Application Fee Refund.
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 5 – On-Site Verification: Missing Documentation
Where a building application has been reviewed as part of an on-site verification tour and is not recommended for certification due to missing documentation and / or information; and whereby the Verifier conducting the on-site verification provides recommendations to meet the certification, then:
- An applicant shall have up to thirty (30) days to provide the requested documentation and/or information and resubmit to the Verifier as agreed upon; and
- Should the Verifier require a second on-site visit, the applicant shall be required to pay all applicable Verifier costs for such visit (see BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 6).
Notwithstanding the above clause 1; BOMA Canada (Portfolio Program stream) or the designated Local BOMA Association (Single Building stream), upon consultation with the Verifier, may, at its sole discretion, grant an applicant an extended period to gather required documentation and/or information by another thirty (30) days, if required, for a total of sixty (60) days following the on-site verification.
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 6 – On-Site Verification: Additional Verification Costs
Where, for the purposes of an on-site verification tour, an applicant’s building(s) is located at a considerable distance from BOMA Canada or the designated Local BOMA Association office, the applicant will be responsible for the payment of all applicable Verifier travel costs. The definition of “considerable distance” shall be determined by BOMA Canada or the designated Local BOMA Association.
Travel costs may include: flight, gas, car rental fees, accommodation and meals where applicable. Please consult with BOMA Canada (Portfolio Program stream) or the designated Local BOMA Association (Single Building stream) office prior to registering a building if there is concern that a building may be located at a “considerable distance” from a BOMA office.
It is expected that the Verifier will have to amend some answers in the Verifier’s version of the questionnaire prior to finalizing the certification score as a result of the on-site visit and documentation review. A Verifier may amend up to twelve (12) answers within the questionnaire. If more than twelve questions require modification, this will incur an additional verification cost. It is the applicant’s responsibility to update the applicant version of the online questionnaire with these same changes, listed in the Final Verification Report.
Following the verification, the Verifier can assist the Applicant in understanding what documentation is still required to achieve certification. However, there can be no more than two (2) interactions with the Verifier focused on clarifying a question’s intent. Additional document review beyond the two (2) interactions will incur an additional verification cost.
Second on-site visit
In the event where a second on-site verification visit is required, this will incur an additional verification cost.
For more information on additional verification costs, contact BOMA Canada (Portfolio Program stream) or the designated Local BOMA Association (Single Building stream).
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 7 – Verification Methodology for eligible Open Air Retail or Light Industrial Buildings in the Portfolio Program
Each building within the Portfolio will be assessed with its own questionnaire. Verification will be based on sampling, as per ISO 17021:2006. In the case where a building does not meet the Level identified during registration, the Verifier will select a wider sampling of buildings to verify, as per ISO 17021:2006. All additional verification costs will be billed at an hourly rate plus disbursements, such as travel costs.
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 8 – Appeals Process
Following the BOMA BEST verification, Applicants may launch a formal appeals process to contest a decision made by the Verifier in regards to the Applicant’s questionnaire.
To launch the appeals process, the Applicant must file a formal complaint or appeal with BOMA Canada (Portfolio Program stream) or the designated Local BOMA Association (Single Building stream) via email. The issue will be reviewed and resolved locally at the discretion of BOMA Canada or the Local BOMA Association. It is possible that the issue is submitted as a Technical Clarification Request. If necessary, the Applicant will be granted an extension to the thirty day verification period deadline (See BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 5 – On-Site Verification: Missing Documentation).
The decision will be communicated directly to the Applicant. All decisions are final.
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 9 – Certification Period for Single Buildings
The building will remain in the “Certified” status for a period of three (3) years from the date on which the Verification was deemed successful. The exact date of the certification will be available to applicants via the “Certifications” tab in the BOMA BEST Online Portal.
As a certification nears expiry, three reminders will be sent automatically by the Online Portal reminding applicants to begin the recertification process. Should the building become “Expired” access to the Online Portal becomes “read only” until such a time as the recertification is requested.
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 10 – Certification Period for Portfolio Program
Buildings in the Portfolio Program are moved to the “Certified” status (not the same as achieving a Certified certification Level) once the portfolio’s verifications are deemed successful. The exact date of the certification will be available to applicants via the “Certifications” tab in the BOMA BEST Online Portal.
Buildings will remain in this “Certified” status continuously (never moving to “Expired”) provided the following two conditions are met:
- All verifications conducted on the sample are deemed successful. Each building will be verified on a three-year cycle (similar to the Single Building stream).
- Payment of the annual fee is received.
Access to the BOMA BEST Online Portal remains available while the buildings are in the “Certified” state.
Certification will be applied to the Portfolio as a whole and to the individual properties. In the case where fees are not submitted within 60 days of the registration anniversary, BOMA Canada reserves the right to render all buildings within the Portfolio inactive. These buildings may be returned to “Certified” status once the fee has been collected.
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 11 – Certification Credentials
BOMA BEST certification is registered by building (property) not by its owner and/or Management Company (i.e. by Applicant). If the ownership and/or management of a BOMA BEST certified building changes, it is the responsibility of the existing or new owner and/or management companies to advise BOMA Canada or the designated Local BOMA Association of such a change.
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 12 – Recertification
For buildings in the Single Building stream, buildings may choose to recertify at any time. The building does not need to be in the “Expired” state to begin the process.
An applicant may recertify a building in accordance with the following terms:
- Recertification fees shall be in accordance with the current BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Application Fees.
On-site verification is required for recertification (included in the recertification fee).
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 13 – Purpose of BOMA BEST Certification
The BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings program is a voluntary energy and environmental assessment and certification program, and therefore does not constitute a guarantee of a building’s performance and value for insurance, or valuation purposes. BOMA Canada does not take responsibility for any undue representation of a building’s performance and/or asset value made on the basis of its achieved BOMA BEST certification.
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 14 – Mandatory Quality Assessment of Platinum Level Verifications
To ensure the integrity of all BOMA BEST Certifications, every building that has achieved a Platinum level will be subject to a secondary verification by a BOMA Canada Verification Professional as part of the BOMA Canada quality assessment process.
BOMA Canada will initiate this process as soon as the original verifier notifies BOMA Canada of the score. BOMA Canada will endeavour to complete this step within a reasonable timeframe and with minimal interruption to the building manager. This secondary verification will occur remotely. Applicants may be contacted for additional information.
The score and level identified by the BOMA Canada Verification Professional will be considered the final score and may differ from the originally identified score.
This mandatory quality assessment of Platinum level certifications is applicable to buildings in the Single Stream and in the Portfolio Stream.
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 15 – Random Quality Assessment of Certified, Bronze, Silver and Gold Level Verifications
To ensure the integrity of all BOMA BEST Certifications, buildings that have achieved a Certified, Bronze, Silver or Gold level certification may be subject to a secondary verification by a BOMA Canada Verification Professional as part of the BOMA Canada quality assessment process.
BOMA Canada will notify the building manager that the building has been randomly selected to undergo this review prior to finalizing the certification. BOMA Canada will endeavour to complete this step within a reasonable timeframe and with minimal interruption to the building manager. This secondary verification will occur remotely. Applicants may be contacted for additional information.
The score and level identified by the BOMA Canada Verification Professional will be considered the final score and may differ from the originally identified score.
This random quality assessment is applicable to buildings in the Single Stream and in the Portfolio Stream.
BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings 3.0 Program Policy 16 – Building Management Change
When a BOMA BEST certified building is removed or sold from a company’s portfolio, the following process will apply:
- The Building Manager will change the Building Management company listed on the Registration page to the new building management company name (if known) or “To be assigned users/correct company” (if unknown).
- The Building Manager will inform the BOMA Local Association (Single Stream) or BOMA Canada (Portfolio Stream). The BOMA Local Association will inform BOMA Canada
- BOMA Canada will remove all users associated with the previous Management Company. It will no longer appear in that company’s building list.
- Single Stream: The building will maintain its certification until the expiry date stated in the certification record. It will continue to appear in the Certified List under the new management name (if provided) until its expiry.
- Portfolio Stream: The building will maintain its certification until the end of the calendar year. If the new company chooses to continue with the Portfolio Stream the building must be verified in the first year to retain its Bronze-Platinum certification level. If it is not verified, the certification level will be changed to Certified. It will continue to appear in the Certified List under the new management name (if provided).
- When a new owner/management company takes possession of a building, a new building must be created in the Online Portal. Since there is sensitive information in the previous questionnaire, such as uploaded company-specific supporting documentation, access will not be given to the new building manager.
- Single Stream: The applicant must create the new building directly in the Online Portal. The applicant will notify BOMA Canada or the Local Association that they have created a new entry for the building.
- Portfolio Stream: The applicant must complete the Registration Template and send it to BOMA Canada.
- BOMA Canada or the Local BOMA Association will transfer the Certification Records associated with the building to the new account (as well as the Final Verification Report and Scoring Summary).
The new building manager may review the Scoring Summary provided in the Certification Record to understand the building’s previous performance.