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LEED v4 Approved, Launches This Fall

USGBCThe US Green Building Council’s membership has voted to adopt LEED v4, the latest update to the green building rating system.

LEED v4 will launch this fall at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo.

The next-generation LEED program includes more options for projects outside of the US, compared to LEED 2009, and has been expanded to more market sectors, such as data centers, warehouses and distribution centers.

Another LEED v4 change includes allocating about 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, according to the USGBC.

LEED v4 also include 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 that voluntarily report about their product makeup and those that reduce the negative impacts from extraction of raw material through the manufacturing process.

Yesterday’s final overall vote was 86 percent in favor of adopting LEED v4, according to the USGBC. This includes 90 percent approval from the user category of the voting body, 77 percent approval from the general interest category and 89 percent approval from the producer category.

The minimum overall percentage of votes needed for a passing vote was 66.7 percent.

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

Starting this summer, the USGBC will offer LEED v4 webinars and the full program, along with reference guides.

Currently, there are more than 100 projects pursuing certification through the LEED v4 beta program, the USGBC says. Some projects will certify by the end of the summer. Enrollment for the LEED v4 beta program is still open.

Last month, the USGBC said it would offer free LEED certification to the first projects to certify in 112 countries abroad. The move is intended to broaden the reach of LEED and accelerate the growth of sustainable development in new markets.

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