Environmental Product Declaration catalyst LEED v4 set for fall launch

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

A new version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system, incentivizing building material or product suppliers to detail their processing or manufacturing methods, is on track for a 2013 Greenbuild Conference and Expo rollout.

LEED v4 provides points on projects where suppliers offer Environmental Product Declarations. Developed in accordance with international standards and a transparent verification process, EPD enable specifiers, purchasers and users to compare materials’ or products’ environmental impacts. Early EPD subscribers include U.S. Concrete’s northern California company, Central Concrete Supply, and fly ash-bound brick and paver producer, CalStar Products, Wisconsin.

LEED v4 “challenges the market to make the next leap toward better, cleaner, healthier buildings,” says USGBC Senior Vice President Scot Horst. “I am confident people will also notice the improved usability of the system with [its] documentation process and more resources to support positive action.”

USGBC membership voted to adopt LEED v4, an overall 86 percent favorable tally reflecting 90 percent, 89 percent and 77 percent approval among user, producer and general interest category voters. “USGBC sets a very high bar for a rating system to be approved,” says LEED Steering Committee Chair Joel Ann Todd. “[It] must earn a significant percentage of the overall vote as well as a majority approval from each of the various LEED stakeholder groups.”

USGBC will offer LEED v4 webinars this summer, preparing full program and reference guides for unveiling at Greenbuild, November 19-21 in Philadelphia.