Sweeping LEED 2012 changes too much for timely shift from 2009 version

Sources: U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Washington, D.C.; CP staff

The addition of measurement and performance tools affecting construction material and product specifications for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification-targeted projects is among factors behind USGBC’s decision to delay a final LEED 2012 ballot until later this year, then rebrand the new version LEED v4 for a mid-2013 release.

The council also attributes concerns members, core LEED users and stakeholders raised on the LEED 2012 roll out, along with its intent to provide the marketplace a pre-ballot view of the full LEED program experience. The LEED 2012 draft has been refined from the 2009 standard to address technical changes informed by market data, stakeholder-generated ideas, and technology advances. The new version’s additional performance-based management features will help gauge projects’ energy and water usage, site and building material selection, and indoor environmental quality.

In addition to the ballot date change, USGBC will keep LEED 2009 open for registration for three years; continue to seek assistance in “test driving” LEED v4 to gain insight while improvements in usability infrastructure proceed; and, commit to a fifth public comment period (October 2–December 10) to take advantage of public forums and educational sessions at the 2012 Greenbuild Expo in San Francisco. Greenbuild will also serve as a platform to debut new forms, submittal documents and online enhancements tied to LEED v4.

“This is 100 percent in response to our members’ desire that we give them a bit more time to absorb the changes in this next version of the rating system,” says USGBC President Rick Fedrizzi. “We want to do everything we can to ensure that the market can fully embrace LEED v4 because it represents significant progress on carbon reduction and human health.”   —  www.usgbc.org/LEEDv4