Is the fifth time the charm? The U.S. Green Building Council may hope so.
The organization has opened its fifth public comment period for changes proposed to its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.
Comments on the voluntary construction standards will be accepted until Dec. 10, according to the USGBC.
A copy of the most recent draft is posted here and includes category changes from the LEED 2009 version in three main areas: new market sectors, increased technical rigor, and streamlined services.
M.O. Stevens / WikiMedia Commons
|In 12 years, LEED has become the go-to environmental building standard throughout the U.S. and is required for new construction on all federal buildings.|
Established in 2000, LEED has emerged as the go-to environmental building standard throughout the U.S. and is now required for new construction on all federal government buildings.
But the development process for the latest round of ratings has been marred by criticism of a number of provisions and proposals.
Rocky Road to LEED
In June, the organization delayed its ballot vote on the updated rating system, formerly known as LEED 2012, to June 1, 2013, in response to member concerns.
The system update was then renamed LEED v4.
The delayed ballot vote and addition of a fifth public comment period were applauded by industry groups, including the American Coatings Association. ACA officials called the move a “step in the right direction.”
After the ballot delay, however, some 27 business associations and trade groups formed the American High-Performance Buildings Coalition to support the development of sustainable building standards that would challenge the LEED rating system.
The coalition said it would advocate for performance- and consensus-based standards and rating systems developed in conformance with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for green building.
Having an Impact
Despite its critics, the USGBC says the latest LEED rating system will “help change the way project teams think, integrate, plan, execute, and operate their buildings.”
“LEED v4 will have the greatest impact of any rating system we’ve developed by focusing on building performance and rewarding innovative product manufacturers who offer best-in-class products,” according to Scot Horst, senior vice president, LEED, USGBC.
The v4 draft document provides up to nine LEED points for using fewer, better materials—an incentive for manufacturers that voluntarily report their product makeup and reduce the negative impact of the production process, from raw materials extraction to manufacturing.
Summaries of the proposed changes to each system can be found at the links below.
• Building Design and Construction
• Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance
• Interior Design & Construction
• Neighborhood Development
USGBC says that LEED v4 will do more to help “curb CO2 emissions than any LEED rating system in its 12-year history.”