LEED 2009 Aims for Speedier Certification Process
USGBC is in the process of significantly revamping LEED and its release is expected early in 2009. Unlike past releases, which maintained the point structure of previous versions, LEED 2009 represents a significant reorganization of the credit structure to synchronize the prerequisites and credits across the various LEED rating systems, to re-allocate points based upon weighting of environmental and human benefits, and to provide for greater emphasis on regionally appropriate solutions. As with past updates, LEED 2009 will once again raise the bar on required performance to achieve certification.
To accelerate the certification process and decrease the current backlog, USGBC will transfer administration of the LEED certification process to the independent Green Building Certification Institute, and a comprehensive update of the LEED-Online certification tool is also in progress.
The premium for green building is much more modest than initially reported. If you incorporate green building requirements early in the process, budget accordingly, and select a capable team, LEED certification can be delivered with conventional budgets or very modest increases. Avoid LEED point counting and instead focus first on broad environmental and performance goals. Leverage the integrated design process to optimize design.
Finally, if you are considering LEED certification for an active project, register the project now. Significant changes to LEED will be released soon, and projects registered prior to implementation of the new version will have the flexibility to choose whether to migrate to the new system.