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New Rule will Boost Energy Performance in LEED Buildings by 14 percent

By CP Editorial Staff June 2007 - Energy Efficiency

In a move that signals its commitment to solutions for climate change, the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) membership has overwhelmingly passed a vote requiring all LEED certified projects to achieve at least two “Optimize Energy Performance” points within LEED, which will improve the energy performance of all LEED certified green buildings by 14 percent for new construction and 7 percent for existing buildings.
Buildings are an important and often overlooked solution to climate change: they are responsible for nearly 40 percent of CO2 emissions in the U.S., due to energy use, water consumption and other operational issues.  CO2, a greenhouse gas that is a major contributor to climate change, has increased 18 percent since 1990 due to the rise in energy consumption.   
“Improving energy performance will immediately increase the LEED Green Building Rating System's impact in reducing building energy related greenhouse gas emissions,” says Tom Hicks, Vice President, LEED, U.S. Green Building Council.
Beginning today, all newly registered commercial LEED projects will be required to achieve the two “Optimize Energy Performance” points within LEED.  The new requirement aims to reduce the environmental and economic impacts associated with excessive energy use and maximize energy performance of buildings through cost effective energy efficiency measures.

To help projects achieve the new energy reduction requirements, a prescriptive compliance path is currently under development as an alternative to energy modeling.  The two mandatory points will count towards a project's LEED certification.


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