Earlier this week, the US Green Building Council announced that it would extend the life of LEED 2009. Projects can still register under the 2009 version until October 31, 2016. The original cut-off date was set to be June 15, 2015, but resounding feedback from LEED users led to the decision.
LEED v4, the most recent version, has been available for a little over a year. It has increased the rigor of the program, as more and more buildings are achieving LEED certification. “When USGBC launched LEED v4 last year, we set out with one goal in mind – to raise the bar in a way that challenges the building industry to reach higher than ever before. This is our nature and USGBC and its members’ collective mission,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO & founding chair, USGBC. “However, the market has requested additional time to prepare for LEED v4, so we are responding.”
In a survey conducted at this year’s Greenbuild conference, 61 percent of respondents said they are “not ready” or “unsure” if they are ready to pursue LEED v4 and require additional time to prepare. Extending LEED 2009’s availability will enable USGBC to work with the broader industry within a longer time frame to help drive meaningful and comprehensive change.
“Our international LEED users, which account for some 50 percent of new LEED registrations, have also indicated they would like to have more time to move onto the new rating system,” Fedrizzi noted. “This extension will be especially helpful to them.”
“When USGBC first pilot tested LEED in 1998, there weren’t many buildings that could qualify for LEED certification at the Platinum level. Now, more than 1,000 buildings have achieved it. With LEED, we have a responsibility to set a high bar and we know that many leaders are capable of reaching it, presently or in the very near future. We want to support our LEED users as they move the market forward with us, and allowing them to utilize the LEED 2009 rating system for a little longer will help facilitate that,” said Fedrizzi.
GBE’s series What Is LEED? has focused on v4, which consolidated some credits, raised minimum benchmarks, and began the shift in emphasis to life cycle analysis, environmental product declarations (EPDs), and health product declarations (HPDs) for building materials.
Source | Images: US Green Building Council