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Green Building Report: New LEED, Big Changes

Part 1: LEED v4 Requires A New Facility Management Approach To LEED

Part 2: LEED v4: How Energy And Atmosphere, Materials And Resources And Indoor Environmental Quality Requirements Have Changed

Part 3: Lessons Learned From A LEED v4 Beta Project

Part 4: USGBC Releases Top 10 States For LEED


LEED v4 Requires A New Facility Management Approach To LEED

By Patrick Leonard and Megan Snyder - March 2014 - Green


Beginning June 1, 2015, all projects that register for LEED certification will be required to use LEED version four (LEED v4). LEED v4 introduces a number of new and revised prerequisites and credits, as well as updated reference standards for existing credits. LEED v4 is different from current and past versions of the rating systems, with a much clearer focus on measured performance; to meet those new performance standards, LEED v4 requires a new facility management approach to LEED.

The latest version of the USGBC's green building rating systems was officially released at the Greenbuild 2013 conference in Philadelphia, after an in-depth public comment process and a beta test of more than 100 projects. It was well received by USGBC membership, which voted by an overwhelming 86 percent to approve the new rating system.

LEED v4 will be a significantly different experience, even for project teams that have certified many projects under previous versions. Becoming familiar with key changes to the rating system as well as lessons learned from one of the pilot projects can help facility managers and project teams understand practical ways to take advantage of LEED v4.

Here are some of the most pertinent changes to the credits in each category from the Building Design and Construction (BD+C) and Interior Design and Construction (ID+C) systems.

1. Location & Transportation/ Sustainable Sites

The first change project teams and facility managers will notice is that Sustainable Sites credits have been separated from Location and Transportation credits. Sustainable Sites credits focus on optimizing the project site, while Location and Transportation credits reward higher density development well served by amenities and alternative transportation infrastructure.

  • Previously separate credits have been combined into more holistic strategies. For example, providing alternative fueling stations for 2 percent of parking capacity and preferred low emitting vehicle (LEV) parking for occupants now earns credit for Green Vehicles.
  • The bicycle parking credit now requires the project be located on a bicycle network. This reduces the "empty bike rack" syndrome of previous versions of LEED by refocusing the credit on the intent — providing viable alternative modes of transportation beyond single occupancy automobiles.
  • Stormwater management becomes rainwater management to reframe the design conversation from dealing with an issue to restoring natural site hydrology.
  • Roof and non-roof heat island credit calculations have been combined; therefore, teams will need to consider both roofscape and hardscape design to earn the new credit.

2. Water Efficiency

LEED v4's new and updated water prerequisites require whole-project metering, 30 percent irrigation savings, and revised minimum efficiency standards for kitchen equipment and appliances.

  • Project teams have the opportunity to document water efficiency strategies with a tangible ROI by specifying high efficiency restroom fixtures and commercial kitchen equipment, worth up to 12 points for Indoor Water Use Reduction, depending on which rating system is being used.
  • The BD+C and ID+C Water Efficiency credits clearly focus on strategies to establish long-term efficient management of resources, rather than just awarding points based on predicted savings. For example, metering irrigation and major indoor water end uses achieve points for Water Metering. This also links to the Existing Buildings Operations & Maintenance rating system (EBO+M) by setting up the infrastructure to trend performance over time and identify issues proactively.



Green Building Report: New LEED, Big Changes

Part 1: LEED v4 Requires A New Facility Management Approach To LEED

Part 2: LEED v4: How Energy And Atmosphere, Materials And Resources And Indoor Environmental Quality Requirements Have Changed

Part 3: Lessons Learned From A LEED v4 Beta Project

Part 4: USGBC Releases Top 10 States For LEED


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