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USGBC Extends LEED 2009 Deadline


Today’s tip of the day is about how USGBC extending the deadline project teams can still use the LEED 2009 rating system.

The U.S. Green Building Council has extended the deadline for which projects can use the old LEED 2009 rating system. In late October, USGBC announced that project teams could register for LEED 2009 through Oct. 31, 2016. The previous deadline had been June 1, 2015. What this means is that FMs and project have about two full years, if they’re starting a LEED initiative to choose between the old, less stringent LEED 2009 and the new (introduced last November, after a delay or two of its own) LEEDv4. On Nov. 1, 2016, all projects registering for LEED will have to use LEEDv4.

The reason for the extension, according to Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC’s CEO and founding chair is ’the market has requested additional time to prepare for LEED v4, so we are responding.’

The issue inside the issue, according to Tristan Roberts at BuildingGreen, is with some of the controversial new Materials & Resources credits that give points for Health Product Declarations and Environmental Product Declarations, among other strategies. Users have complained the market isn’t ready for the credits, or that they’re too complicated. Roberts points out that USGBC has formed a Supply Chain Optimization Working Group to study the issue. (Side note: For a very interesting conversation about the pros and cons of the extension, see the comments section of Roberts’ post.)

While many hailed the decision to extend the sunset date of LEED 2009, it isn’t without some consequences. As pointed out in this post on the Green Building Law Update, it throws USGBC’s planned three-year update cycle into further chaos. If you remember, LEEDv4 was actually delayed a year – it had been planned for 2012 (and originally called LEED 2012). What’s more, the extension means that some of the other tenets of LEEDv4 – like better building commissioning, water efficiency standards, energy measuring and benchmarking, and efficiency standards – that would’ve moved the marked forward are ’punished’ by the few credits that aren’t well understood or still not ready for prime time.

Of course, project teams and FMs are still welcome to choose LEEDv4, if they want. But it’s likely only the most noble LEED practitioners will choose that course. Currently, there are only 9 certified LEEDv4 projects, and only 253 registered.

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