Green building credit prospects move from construction to operating phase

Source: CP staff

The U.S. Green Building Council’s successor to the LEED 2009 rating system keeps provisions for project rating points in the construction phase, including the use of mixes containing recycled materials, or specifying pervious concrete, permeable pavers or conventional flatwork for storm water site containment or to limit heat island effect.

Unveiled at the 2013 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, November 20-22 in Philadelphia, however, LEED v4 responds to the increasing recognition of life cycle energy consumption by shifting more project rating point criteria toward buildings’ operating phases. It also challenges stakeholders in concrete and many other building and construction supply chain players to be more transparent in providing information on what their materials and products contain.

The LEED v4 Materials section includes credit-driven incentives for suppliers and manufacturers to offer Environmental Product Declarations, third party-certified documents that mimic food nutrition labels. In prior versions’ Materials sections, “We thought of attributes like recycled content. Now we want designers to think more like they are shopping [when specifying] and make trade offs,” says USGBC Senior Vice President, LEED Scot Horst. LEED v4’s EPD incentives will help the Council establish infrastructure for users to make decisions on material and product contents, he adds.