USGBC’s New LEED Version 3

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The USGBC restructured LEED requirements and credits and created LEED v3.
Photo Courtesy USGBC

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will launch the newest version of LEED, LEED Version 3 (LEED v3) on April 27. The major differences between LEED v3 and older versions concern technological advancements and improvement in building sciences. Despite these changes, LEED v3 will maintain energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emission reductions as its top concern.

LEED v3 is divided into three sections: LEED 2009, LEED-Online and the Building Certification Model.

LEED 2009 focuses on three areas: the harmonization of credits, credit weightings and regionalization. Harmonization of credits and prerequisites means that the rating system will be more consistent in how they distribute credits. The system will give credits for strategies to reduce CO2 emissions and efforts to enhance energy efficiency under their credit weightings area. Regionalization recognizes building responsibility within the demands of a region. Six possible LEED credits have been added to reward those who plan and build effectively within a specific environment.

LEED-Online is a program to manage the registration and certification process. Through an enhanced interface, LEED-Online will provide greater help options, assist builders in moving to the new rating system and offer improved communication between project certifiers and teams.

The Building Certification Model is based on ISO standards 14000 family, which is a set of sustainable building and managing practices for organizations to follow. Ten new certification groups were added to assist in certifying organizations, products and processes. A few of the group added are Intertek, Underwriters Laboratories-DQS and BSI Management Systems America, Inc.

The USGBC is committed to helping homeowners and builders understand the new program. Partnered with the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), the USGBC will offer a weekly webcast for members addressing the changes and aspects of LEED v3.

More about LEED

• Buildings seeking LEED certification are now required to provide energy use reports. Read more about it.

• Schools across America are seeking LEED-certification. Find out if your state is involved!

• LEED is spreading out to entire neighborhoods. Find out how to turn your neighborhood into a sustainable community with the LEED Neighborhood Development project.