Halloween activities often include carving pumpkins into jack o lanterns and trick or treating in costume, and this year on All Hallows’ Eve you should be registering your LEED project.

The end is near. October 31, 2016 is the last day to register a LEED version 2009 project.

Registration will close on that date and thereafter GBCI will only accept applications for projects pursuing LEED v4.  GBCI will continue to accept submittals for certification of those projects registered by that date and pursuing v2009 rating systems until June 30, 2021.

As new versions of the LEED rating systems are introduced, earlier versions are phased out. October 31, 2016 should come as a surprise to no one. This is arguably the third extension of the date when projects must use the LEED v4. The date is an extension from the originally proposed close date of June 1, 2015, announced in summer 2012 when the vote on “LEED 2012” (now LEED v4) was initially delayed. There will likely not be a crush of registrations at the end of October because many projects registered by the April 8, 2016 date, as I wrote in USGBC Making Significant Change to LEED when new projects registering for LEED 2009 were required to satisfy increased minimum energy performance thresholds.

USGBC’s website postulates, “What happens when you upgrade the world’s premier benchmark for high-performance green buildings?” And then proposes “it’s bolder, more specialized, and designed for a better user experience.”

Without delving into whether or not LEED v4 is better than earlier versions, (.. USGBC boasts that LEED v4 has 80% fewer forms when compared to LEED 2009), it is the uncertainties associated with this dramatically changed rating system that make it exceedingly aggressive, if not irresponsible, to not register every contemplated project now for the tried and true v 2009. There are 31,944 LEED certified projects listed in the GBIG database, but only 7 certified LEED v4 BD+C New Construction projects, since that new rating system was launched on November 20, 2013.

Appreciate that this is not necessarily a matter of first costs alone because as I wrote in LEED v4 Costs Demystified, you can deliver a LEED v4 certified building at minimal additional cost. However, with increasing numbers of governments imposing mandatory green building tied to LEED and more and more government incentives pegged to LEED, the uncertainties of only 7 certifications of v4 new construction projects must be taken into account.

Note that October 31, 2016 will also be the last day to register new projects under LEED for Homes v2008 and LEED for Homes Midrise Pilot.

If you want to upgrade a project to LEED v4, such can be accomplished through GBCI’s support team. Learn more about upgrading to LEED v4.

A complete compilation of LEED registration and certification deadlines are available here.

Halloween is scary for young children, but the uncertainties associated LEED v4 should be frightening to the real estate industry. Register your project for LEED v 2009 before All Hallows’ Eve.

As a reader of this blog, if you email me before the Greenbuild Convention and Expo, I will buy you a drink or a cup of coffee at an LA watering hole. I made a similar offer last year and had a great time meeting a lot of very fun people for drinks in DC. I hope to see you in LA beginning on October 5.