The Shift Towards LEED 2009
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by Matt Kiszka on 04/12/2009
Changes coming to the LEED Ratings System in LEED v3
A number of changes are occurring in the LEED system this year – the implementation of LEED v3 (also being branded as LEED 2009), the USGBC’s newest technical rating system; and the transition of project registration to the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), which already administers testing and AP certification.
The launch for LEED v3 will occur April 27, with projects having the chance to register under the current LEED system until June 27, 2009. After this date, all new projects must register under LEED 2009.
The new system sees advancements primarily in the areas of credit harmonization, credit weighting, and regionalization. Harmonization involves the consolidation and alignment of credits and prerequisites under all LEED commercial and institutional rating systems, with the goal being consistency and maximization of the systems’ most effective common denominators.
Credit weightings will shift in order to accommodate their ability to have the greatest positive impacts on energy efficiency and CO2 reductions. Whilst credit portions might shift, they will not be eliminated. Instead, credence will be paid to how much potential change each credit can wield.
Regionalization will target the USGBC’s regional councils, chapters and affiliates, making use of their ability to focus on region-specific environmental issues. Six LEED credits are set aside that focus on environmental issues specific to the project’s geographic location.
Criticism has been directed at the USGBC’s LEED ratings system in the past for not being rigorous or meticulous enough. These changes advance the system in a methodical and effective manner, increasing the impact of implementation and driving the progress of green building forward. With them targeting the reduction of CO2 emissions and increased energy efficiency above all else, we can be certain that they will one day meet their ultimate goal of (what I can only imagine is) the provision of a system that can guide new and existing buildings towards having the smallest impact on the environment as is humanly possible. ~ Matt
Matt Kiszka is the LEED and Greenbuilding initiatives project manager for Renewable Choice