The U. S. Green Building Council is looking for the future of LEED and has officially opened a call for feedback and ideas for the next version of LEED.
This is an opportunity for anyone and everyone to influence the next version of the most widely used green building rating system in the world.
With more than 98,000 projects participating in LEED across 167 countries and more than 2.6 million square feet certified LEED every day, there are other ways to construct a green building, but LEED is not only the globally recognized symbol of sustainable achievement, but also the thought leader moving the market.
This is your chance to be more than a cog in the environmental industrial complex, but to be a member of the community unveiling technological fixes influencing where the market is moving. As Melissa Baker, senior VP for LEED Technical Core at USGBC, describes it,
“Now that LEED v4.1 is out and has been positively received by the community, we are exploring how we can strengthen LEED v4.1 and also plan what’s next for the rating system. We are working to ensure that LEED remains a global leadership standard, and we know that as we evolve LEED, industry feedback and support are critical.”
And lest there be any question about organizational commitment, Mahesh Ramanujam, president & CEO at USGBC, said last week, “we are excited to engage the market again to solicit ideas, proposals and feedback for improving LEED v4.1 and future versions of LEED.”
Whether you are someone who sees LEED v4 as the rating system killing the goose that laid the golden eggs or who sees LEED 4.1 as the best thing since sliced bread, this is your opportunity to be heard by Melissa Baker and her team that are charged with writing the next version of LEED.
The nature of the comments will largely influence whether the next iteration is LEED v4.2 (.. an update) or v5 (.. a whole new version).
Having LEED change through a continuous improvement process, as opposed to announcing periodic releases (e.g., triennial versions aligned with the I Codes or the like), is viewed widely as negative across the real estate industries (.. if you feel differently, you could comment on process), given that LEED 4.1 is still in BETA and has not been balloted by the members, some of these new comments could well find themselves quickly incorporated in v4.1. Continuous improvement, including through the use of Pilot credits is looked upon by most disapprovingly, because of the years long process of planning, designing and funding a building; moreover, that many Pilot credits are advocated by pecuniary interests that are not disclosed.
There is no time frame yet for this next version of LEED.
But if there are two issues that LEED v4 and v4.1 have been criticized for not going far enough to address, and will almost certainly find their way into the next generation rating system, it is social equity and matters of occupant health.
This may also be an ideal time to comment given the 2017 announcement that the technical content “in the 2018 IgCC powered by 189.1,” .. could become the foundation of LEED certification. “USGBC will undertake an analysis of the measures from the model green code and compare them to LEED requirements.” Given that there is little, if any, science to support the ASHRAE 189.1 standard development, some question if this collaboration articulates the technology that can help LEED produce our way out of our environmental predicament.
Additionally, public comment is a chance for the silent majority to quell the small group of vocal extremists, many who are the apocalyptic environmentalists that carried the day with LEED v4, resulting in a rating system that today does not have the market acceptance that a both more balanced and rooted in science and technology approach would.
There will no doubt continue to be ‘give and take’ between those who want to measure performance against those who want a design and construction standard that is complete at use and occupancy. Some have advocated for a greater emphasis on and differentiation with existing buildings and Arc.
Maybe you are one who believes the greenest building is an existing building and that a way to accelerate building reuse is to fix the (.. little achieved) LEED brownfields credit. I offered that constructive criticism in a recent blog post. This is your chance.
Many see diametrically opposed views on the environment shaping different visions for the future of LEED. In recent years, USGBC has moved toward a belief that we are using more than our planet has to give and we must drastically cut back and use less energy, water and … That view overtook the longstanding precept by the founders of USGBC that LEED was a science based engineered solution to the environmental problems of the day. Your insightful analysis in that debate is an essential addition to the urgent conversation that will not only be had at USGBC, but also about how mankind will fare on our increasingly crowded Earth.
But the vexing substantive issues that face the environmental industrial complex about the next version of LEED are more akin to the current debate that finds canned tuna ‘out’ and lab grown tuna ‘in’.
So, take a few minutes, now, and provide USGBC with some feedback and ideas for the next version of LEED at https://new.usgbc.org/leed-v41#join.
Additionally, there will be a special “Future of LEED” session at Greenbuild in Atlanta on November 19 -22, which will review feedback to date and allow comment.