LEED 2012: Faster, Cheaper, More Automatic

November 22, 2011 at 8:39 pm 1 comment

Since its inception in 1993, LEED has grown to include over 120,000 individuals from all over the world and has been used to build more than 3.6 billion square feet of space sustainably. The LEED certification and accreditation processes have greatly contributed to the growing interest – and ensuing standardization – of sustainable design in commercial buildings. However, now that LEED has become an industry norm, it seems reasonable to reevaluate the rating system and ensure that it is as effective as it claims to be.Having faced this issue in 2009, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) adjusted the LEED Rating System to accommodate the changing industry and meet the needs of individuals from all occupational backgrounds who wanted to learn about sustainability and green building. A little over two years later, the USGBC is having to consider making more changes to the LEED system. This time, the expected changes will be less about attracting new audiences and more about validating the effectiveness of the system as a whole.This discussion has come about as a result of engineers and project managers complaining that LEED points were too easy to achieve and sometimes did not make sense for the building’s overall sustainability. The LEED system may reward a larger number of points for a particular concept that has been integrated into the project, even when there are larger issues at hand that would benefit the building more. For example, many cited the fact that a bike rack earned points in a building that might have a faulty boiler. How can people take a building’s LEED certification status seriously if LEED project managers are only concerned with integrating attributes that will grant them the largest number of points?

It is with these concerns in mind that the USGBC is looking to develop its enhanced LEED Rating System, now being called LEED 2012. It is expected to launch in November and then go to USGBC members for a vote next summer.

One major update to the process is the addition of new technology and building practices that make real-time energy and water management commercially viable. The inability to track a LEED building’s energy savings over time has been a serious issue for those pursuing LEED Certification. For those investing so much time and money into the process, they need to be able to show documented proof that the investment was worth it. Similarly, building owners and project managers see the value in comparing their building’s energy savings to similar buildings in the area. The USGBC is working with a database called the Green Building Information Gateway, which allows an owner to tap into comparable data from similar buildings. Essentially, LEED 2012 aims to take LEED Certification to the next level.

These early predictions surrounding LEED 2012 demonstrate the USGBC’s dedication to sustainability and consumer satisfaction. It seems this revamped system will address much of the criticism that has come to surface in the last two years. We expect LEED 2012 standards to add value to a building’s LEED Certification status via post-certification reporting and new recertification requirements. We also want to commend the USGBC for acknowledging the changing needs of the industry and always striving for the most comprehensive and progressive green building standard.


Entry filed under: LEED Certification. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Catrin bela  |  October 9, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Fantastic Post! LEED training is the best training for all architects, builders and engineers to develop the environment friendly green buildings expertise.


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