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The announcement of the first occupied green office building in New York comes at a time when the U.S. Green Building Council is working toward reorganizing its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for buildings.
The Hearst Tower in Midtown Manhattan has received LEED Gold status based on high environmental performance of both interior and exterior systems, including the use of low-E glass wrapping the exterior of the building which keeps heat-causing solar radiation out, light sensors on each floor that control the amount of artificial light based on the amount of natural light coming in, high efficiency Energy Star-rated heating and air conditioning equipment, according to the USGBC Web site.
LEED Gold status is just one level of green certification from the USGBC. In development is the new LEED Version 3.0, which will harmonize and align many of the versions of the green building rating system (new construction, existing buildings, etc.) and incorporate recent advances in science and technology.
The USGBC is formulating a workplan for the development of Version 3.0 based on experts’ feedback in the building and environmental communities. The USGBC encourages feedback on the following issues:
Performance: What technical and scientific innovations to both the content and structure of the LEED rating system will create better, greener, more sustainable buildings?
Transformation: How can LEED’s applicability be improved to more of the marketplace, with a focus on the mission of market transformation?
Customer Experience: How can LEED work better for the people and organizations who use it, maintaining technical integrity and rigor, while reducing costs?
USGBC is planning the scope and workplan for Version 3.0 to be published in initial form at Greenbuild 2006 in Denver, according to the USGBC Web site.