In July, the U.S. Green Building Council announced that the highly anticipated LEED v4, the next version of the LEED green building rating system, had passed member ballot. Following years of development and a record six public comment periods, 86 percent of the USGBC consensus body voted in favor of adopting LEED v4. Now, the USGBC is offering resources to help ease the transition.
LEED v4 is a significant step forward for the industry, focusing on performance, expansion into new market sectors, and more streamlined processes for LEED users by focusing on essential and intuitive documentation. However, USGBC recognizes there is much work ahead to help practitioners understand the new standard. In that respect, USGBC is actively working to provide resources and support tools to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible.
One way USGBC is working to ensure the new system is market-ready is with the LEED v4 Beta. Through this system, USGBC is continuing to refine tools and resources prior to the official launch of the full rating system in November at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in Philadelphia. Currently, there are more than 100 projects participating in the Beta, and USGBC is still accepting projects into the program.
USGBC is also hosting several webinar series to help projects teams become better acquainted with changes in the various LEED v4 rating systems. The first of these, "Introduction to LEED v4," focuses on key concepts and strategies as well as ongoing performance measurement. There are also system-specific reviews for the Building Design and Construction and Operations and Maintenance rating systems, expected to launch in the fall. Each of these reviews includes five sessions.
The webinars are registered for LEED-specific continuing education units with the Green Building Certification Institute, as well as American Institute of Architects continuing education units. They are accessible through various avenues, including USGBC's course catalog and its webinar portal at usgbc.peachnewmedia.com. USGBC webinar subscribers can also access the programs through their subscriptions. Those interested can choose to purchase a full series or individual sessions.
Always the place to learn about changes in the rapidly evolving green building industry, Greenbuild will also offer numerous opportunities to explore LEED v4 through pre-conference workshops, a LEED Master Series Session, and a USGBC update on the expo hall stage.
The pre-conference workshops will all take place Tuesday, Nov. 19. "LEED 252: An Introduction to the LEED v4 Rating Systems" is designed to offer practitioners broad insight and establish a foundation for adopting LEED v4 into their green building activities. Meanwhile, "BD+C 251 for LEED v4: Understanding the Building Design+Construction LEED v4 Rating System" and "O&M 251 for LEED v4: Understanding the Operations+Maintenance LEED v4 Rating System" will cover topics such as credit intents, key elements, requirements, strategies, referenced standards and synergies of the rating systems, as well as foundations of the LEED certification process.
Beyond these workshops, Greenbuild will feature a Master Series Session, "LEED v4 Performance," with USGBC Vice President of LEED Scot Horst on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Horst will discuss how LEED v4 is preparing us to measure performance, as well as how LEED is poised to move from certifying limited sets of strategies to rewarding beneficial building outcomes. Horst will also cover the LEED performance score, as well as the LEED dynamic plaque and dashboard for visualizing and improving performance, both currently in prototype.
Greenbuild will also feature a LEED v4-related session on the expo hall stage on Nov. 20, "Building Products and LEED v4."
To register for the LEED v4 workshops and other Greenbuild sessions, visit www.greenbuildexpo.org.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) will collaborate to rapidly scale up the construction of green buildings in emerging markets. The WorldGBC has agreed to connect its network of national green building councils to IFC's investment and advisory program. The WorldGBC's local affiliate councils will certify green buildings through IFC's EDGE, a new web application that reveals solutions at the early design stage to reduce energy, water, and material consumption by 20 percent.
The partnership will focus on rapidly urbanizing countries with surging population growth that need to build sustainably to avoid emissions growth, bolster energy security, and minimize resource depletion. The built environment is expected to double by 2050; China alone has the potential to add 53 billion square meters of building space, which is equivalent to the building stock of Latin America today.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org/greenbuildings.
The U.S. Department of Energy released a report stating that, in 2012, wind energy became the number one source of new U.S. electricity generation capacity for the first time — representing 43 percent of all new electric additions and accounting for $25 billion in U.S. investment. Last year, 13 gigawatts (GW) of new wind energy capacity were added to the grid, nearly double the amount added in 2011.
The added capacity in 2012 brings the US total of wind generated power to more than 60 GW, according to the report — titled 2012 Wind Technologies Market Report.
The price of wind under long-term power purchase contracts signed in 2011 and 2012 averaged 4 cents per kilowatt hour — making wind competitive with a range of wholesale electricity prices seen in 2012.
View the whole report at pnnl.gov/main/publications/external/technical_reports/PNNL-22537.pdf.
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