New LEED Standards Bringing Greener Buildings

Association of Construction and Development
November 27, 2013 — 1,419 views  

Recently the fourth update on LEED was announced by U.S. Green Building Council. Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design is a third-party certification program for green buildings. It makes use of a point system for rating buildings which can be both retrofits or newly constructed. This new version of LEED was announced in Philadelphia at the Greenbuild conference.

Dealing with the issues

The target of LEED v4 is to establish higher standards for eco-friendly building and streamlining the process of certification. This latest version is projected to look after some of the issues that LEED faced previously. These issues were discussed at the last Greenbuild session.

One of the criticisms was that LEED is not rigorous enough in its approach. To contradict this attack, USGBC has been focusing on its process of data collection. Initially LEED did not concentrate much on the analysis of data collection of factors like water saving, energy savings, air quality, reduced runoff and so on. The founder of LEED, Rob Watson said that this has been one of the most frustrating things for the advocates. He said that lack in the collection of data is one of the biggest obstacles in the way of sustainability and needs to be looked after by the program.

Major improvements

This focus on building performance managing will help to a great extent in maintaining the success of certified projects of LEED. Encouragement will be given to building owners to maintain their buildings in a better and greener way. LEED v4 will also bring in certain new ‘impact categories’ to help several projects in reaching a higher sustainability standard. These impact categories include human health, climate changes, green economy, water resources, natural resources, biodiversity and community.

LEED has received some mixed reactions in the past as some thought that it needed stricter standards while some others felt that it was unattainable and too complicated. With LEED v4, the focus is on keeping the program a lot friendlier. This improved version may not see any changes in the point system but there will definitely be less of paperwork, which will prove to be a relief for many.

Former member of USGBC, Pamela Lippe said that with the latest version LEED is trying to simplify itself. The new forms will be much more transparent. Also USGBC is working on making the program a lot more consistent. Better online tools will be made available which will help in calculating the points automatically.

 

Association of Construction and Development