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Green: Recent Developments in LEED v3 and v4

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Judhajit Chakraborty. Assoc. AIA, LEED® AP WSP Built Ecology

LEED 2009/ LEED v3: Last month some major changes were introduced in LEED 2009 which will be Lapplicable to projects registered between April 8, 2016 and October 31, 2016 before LEED 2009 gets phased out completely. The LEED energy prerequisite is being increased from 10% to 18% energy cost savings for any LEED 2009 (version 3) projects registered after April 8, 2016. This change is applicable to the LEED 2009 BD+C, ID+C, and LEED 2008 Multifamily Midrise rating systems and does not affect LEED 2009 O+M, ND or LEED 2008 Homes. This change will also not affect projects registered under LEED v4. With this change in effect, project teams will be required to earn a minimum of four points in the energy performance credits.

The referenced energy standard and modeling requirements in LEED 2009 will not change. Buildings falling under the proposed change can use the same methodologies and referenced standards, but will need to earn additional points in order to achieve certification. This change comes as a direct result of a study where it was found that the average LEED BD+C v2009 project improves upon the 90.1-2007 baseline by approximately 29 percent. After the study was published in September 2015 the proposal of this update was put forward and the voting process was finished by March 7, 2016. The proposal received a 78.6% votes in favor of the change which sealed the update. A minimum of two-thirds approval is needed for any balloted measure.

greenLEED v4- “Effort” Certification: In order to appease the rigor of the stringent LEEDv4, USGBC has carved out a new program called LEED “Effort” certification which adds a fifth level and presumably the easiest level after the basic “Certified” level (40 points). This program will be launched in fall 2016 when LEEDv3 will be phased out. With no chasing points in this program, this is USGBC’s answer for a long awaiting demand for LEED “Equivalent” buildings. With only two pre-requisites (registering the project and completing the project and the rest being optional) USGBC is trying to reach out to architects and developers who are deeply concerned about their ability to sell on the more stringent energy, IAQ [indoor air quality], and material requirements of LEED v4. The program will also give all participants access to the LEED Effort Dynamic Plaque, which tracks building performance in real time, but metrics are based on how hard you try to actually measure the performance.

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