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LEED v4: Meaner, but Greener

In November 2013, USGBC launched the latest version of its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) rating system. LEED v4 increases the challenges for design teams by adding new requirements and increasing the energy and water use reductions needed to accomplish certification.
 
According to the USGBC, this version of LEED focuses on increasing sustainable solutions for the environment, the economy and society in general. USGBC CEO and President Rick Fedrizzi acknowledges that LEED v4 is not easy, but says it is achievable. According to Mr. Fedrizzi, “It’s an opportunity to recalibrate our expectations for green buildings, providing a new ‘normal’ and a new ‘extraordinary.’”
 
Since LEED v4 has begun making its way into design discussions, we had our sustainability technician Kacey Zeiser point out a few of the biggest changes between LEED 2009 and LEED v4.
 
According to Kacey, the biggest diferences between LEED 2009 and LEED v4 are that LEED v4:
 
  • Broadens the rating system to include more market sectors.
  • Increases the technical rigor, pushing projects teams to further reduce energy and water use.
  • Alters credit categories, with the addition of the category “Location and Transportation,” as well as renaming and reworking specific credit requirements. 
  • Encourages an integrative process, which involves stakeholders from the beginning to the end of the construction process.
  • Emphasizes product transparency by introducing new credits within the Materials and Resources category, demanding disclosure of building products’ ingredients and sourcing.

Not ready for the latest challenge in sustainable design? LEED 2009 is open for project registration until June 1, 2015.

For more information on LEED v4, visit usgbc.org. 

 





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