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USGBC Opens LEED Draft Proposal to Public Comment

The US Green Building Council has opened the fifth public comment period to allow the building industry to view the most recent rating system in its proposed update to the LEED green building program.

Comments on the proposed LEED v4 construction standards can be made on the USGBC website until December 10.

USGBC will begin the LEED v4 beta testing period in November. The LEED v4 rating system is scheduled to launch in 2013.

The LEED rating system is voluntary. However, it’s become the go-to environmental building standard throughout the US and is required for new construction on all federal buildings.

The most recent proposal for LEED v4 includes allocating nearly 20 percent of all points to optimizing energy performance over the ASHRAE 90.1-2010, a move that would do more to help curb carbon emissions than any LEED rating system in its 12-year history, the USGBC said.

The LEED v4 draft includes a provision that will give a building that uses fewer, better materials up to 9 LEED points in an effort to give incentives to both product manufacturers who voluntarily report about their product makeup and those who reduce the negative impacts from extraction of raw material through the manufacturing process.

The next version of LEED also includes more options for projects outside of the US and has been expanded to more market sectors, such as data centers, warehouses and distribution centers.

Earlier this summer, more than 27 business associations and trade groups formed the American High-Performance Buildings Coalition, in a bid to support the development of a sustainable buildings standard that would challenge the US Green Building Council’s LEED rating system.

The formation of the coalition, which includes the US Chamber of Commerce, American Chemistry Council and the Vinyl Institute, coincided with the federal General Services Administration’s review of LEED, and the USGBC revision to the green building standard. The coalition has argued that the USGBC developed the LEED rating system without involving the industry or using a consensus-based standards.

 

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