LEED v3 Features Regional Priority Credits
The LEED rating system is no longer a one-size-fits-all system under v3. The emphasis and weighting of a credit in the previous version often did not reflect the priority of environmental issues for a building’s location. To reflect these local priorities, USGBC will identify existing credits for bonus points based on specific regional issues.
Six regional priority credits (RPC), determined by regional councils and chapters, are eligible for the regionalism weight, and organizations can earn four bonus points in the RPC category. When registering a project, LEED Online automatically selects RPCs based on the project’s ZIP code. If the applicant achieves the RPCs, LEED Online automatically awards the bonus points.
Managers can download a state-by-state list of the RPCs at www.usgbc.org/leed2009 to determine which ones are available for a particular project. The spreadsheet has tabs for the five LEED 2009 rating systems — LEED-EB: O&M, LEED-NC, LEED CS, LEED for Commercial Interiors, and LEED for Schools. When the user selects the appropriate tab, a list of ZIP codes for the appropriate state will appear in the right-hand column. The six columns to the right of the ZIP code identify the RPCs that are eligible for bonus points.
If the project meets the credit requirements, the organization will earn the bonus point. The RPCs that include a percentage indicate the level of achievement required for multi-threshold credits.
For example, the first credit identified for a ZIP code in Indiana is Sustainable Sites Credit 4, a multi-threshold credit. The bonus-point threshold shown on the spreadsheet is 10 percent. The credit requires demonstrated reduction of commuting round trips by building occupants.
Three to fifteen points are available on a sliding scale from 10 percent to 75 percent. If the applicant can document a 10 percent reduction, the building will receive three points for the credit and an additional bonus point for meeting the RPC threshold requirement.
The addition of the RPCs to the rating system should not hamper the ability to accomplish LEED certification for an existing building, since they are not new LEED credits. Rather, the RPCs provide more opportunities to score bonus points for credits a project already might be able to achieve.