The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC’s) is a major role in the green building movement. As reducing carbon footprints and conserving limited resources becomes more important to facility builders, LEED certification has become a crucial benchmark for many institutions. In Early July, USGBC’s members voted to adopt the fourth version Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, (LEED V4), simultaneously raising the bar for the sustainable building community and causing controversy.
The USGBC’s landslide approval of LEED V4 passed with 86 percent supporting. LEED V4 makes it significantly harder to achieve certification based on easy to achieve credits. By shifting current credits, and adding new measurements based on specific performance thresholds, future LEED certified meetings will meet an entirely new level of sustainability.
One opposing voter wrote that the changes are “in some cases too abrupt, and the effort to comply will be measurably increased.” For project Owners, LEED certification and the resulting costs already puts some sustainable features out of reach; it’s fair to question if raising the bar will make even more Owners pause. At least on the first charge, the USGBC is attempting to show that while standards are more rigorous, LEED certification remains achievable. V4 won’t officially launch until November, and in the meantime, more than 100 projects around the world are participating in the Beta Pilot Program, defining specific guidance for future architects and builders in areas that previously had minimal direction. To ease the transition, building owners and designers will be allowed to register projects under the 2009 standards until June 2015.
Every one of our clients has been concerned with sustainability. As members of the USGBC , we support sustainable advancements in facilities, and work closely with each client to implement the sustainable features that works best for the school. Leed V4 is the next iteration of the greater building communities effort to construct green facilities, and while not perfect, is another step forward.