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What is LEEDv4?

Today's tip is about the update to the LEED rating system that had been due out in late 2012. The new suite of LEED rating systems, which had been in development for more than three years, had garnered more than 20,000 comments during three public comment periods.

The rating systems were expected to be a significant step forward in terms of sustainable strategies for both new and existing buildings. But, according to the U.S. Green Building Council president, CEO and founding chairman, Rick Fedrizzi, "we have heard repeatedly that while our community continues to fully embrace our mission, they need more time to absorb the changes we're proposing and to get their businesses ready to take the step with us."

So LEED 2012, as it had been previously called, is being renamed LEEDv4 and is being delayed until June 1, 2013.

One of the provisions of the new LEED that has elicited some of the strongest opinions is the new prerequisite in LEED-EBOM that a project have a minimum Energy Star score of 75. Some feel that requirement is too stringent.

Additionally, USGBC added an "alternate compliance path" for achieving that prerequisite such that if a building can't achieve 75, but can show 20 percent year-over-year energy improvement, it can still achieve a Certified rating. However, no matter how many other points it achieves in other categories, Certified is as high as that building can be rated.

As USGBC continues to hear from its members and the public, and continues to work on complementary materials and reference guides for the new rating system, expect to hear much more about the changes.

For more information, visit www.usgbc.org/leedv4


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