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With v4.1 almost ready for ballot, what comes next?

by Paula Melton

LEED v4.1 is still in beta. LEED v4 isn’t going anywhere soon. The sunset date for LEED 2009 even got delayed because of the pandemic. For those mired in the details of one of these currently used rating systems, it might seem premature to start thinking about what’s next.

The LEED Positive vision now has a deadline: 2025.

by Paula Melton

Forget net zero by 2030: it’s not enough, or soon enough, to stop catastrophic climate change.

That’s the message Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), had for attendees of Greenbuild 2020. Ramanujam instead set a more ambitious requirement: all new construction will have to achieve net-positive carbon and energy performance by 2025 in order to achieve LEED certification. Existing buildings will have to achieve these same goals by 2050.

LEED addresses social equity in several ways, but there’s lots of room for improvement.

by Paula Melton

Protesters are rising up around the nation in response to our racist legal system. And although the Black Lives Matter movement focuses on police brutality, these protests are helping bring attention to social equity more generally.

From six LEED pilot credits to resources for reopening K–12 schools, the U.S. Green Building Council is proffering a plethora of pandemic guidance.

by Paula Melton

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is offering LEED incentives for actions taken in buildings to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. It also has provided guidance on construction projects, building re-entry for universities and K–12 schools, and facility management.

Safety First pilot credits

A total of six pilot credits are available—four for individual buildings (applicable to v2009, v4, and v4.1 projects) and two for LEED Cities and Communities.

These are the v4.1 credits you might want to substitute in v4 new construction projects.

by Trista Little and Paula Melton

In this blog post, we provide a rundown of the v4.1 credits that are easy wins, mixed bags, and unanticipated landmines to help you navigate the opportunities for upgrading to v4.1. Remember: for Building Design & Construction Projects (BD+C), you can substitute any v4.1 credit just by choosing that option in LEED Online.

The chaotic and frustrating process of searching for transparency documents is getting a total overhaul with a better search and pre-verification by GBCI.

by Paula Melton

If you’ve attempted the Building Product Disclosure and Optimization (BPDO) credits under LEED v4 or 4.1, you probably have war stories about finding, verifying, and documenting those credits—and then potentially having your environmental product declarations (EPDs) or Health Product Declarations (HPDs) rejected because of something you missed in the fine print.

All that frustration is about to go away. Meet the Better Materials initiative from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI).

Arc, the performance-measurement tool from USGBC’s for-profit arm, is now available to anyone with access to a web browser.

by Paula Melton

Have you ever wondered how your building measures up against the highest-performing buildings on the planet? With the Arc online software tool, you can now find out—for free.

Lots of credits are more achievable under v4.1, but should we celebrate? What about the environmental impact?

by Nadav Malin

After we announced the v4.1 “Should I Upgrade?” content on LEEDuser (scroll down for an example here), we got challenged by Nick Semon of Re:Vision Architecture in Philadelphia:

After ten years online, LEEDuser has become an institution. And there’s a good reason we’re still here: you.

by Nadav Malin
The Vision

LEEDuser grew out of a very simple inspiration: LEED shouldn’t be so hard!

In 2008, LEED was rapidly gaining traction in the marketplace, but most people felt they needed have to hire a dedicated LEED consultant for every project, jacking up the cost significantly.

Computational design scripting for integrated performance analysis

by Elliot Glassman and Joshua Radoff

The building sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and heating, cooling, and lighting are all major sources of these emissions. The solution? Good passive design can minimize the need for these end uses even while providing enhanced thermal comfort.

These updates are the best thing to happen to LEED in a very long time.

by Joshua Radoff

It’s been a while since a LEED update generated much excitement. Not like the heady days of 2009 when v3 was released, and project teams were lining up to get things registered because of the market power LEED was commanding.

Leveraging computational design scripting for daylight and views

by Elliot Glassman and Joshua Radoff

There is a mountain of research to support the positive impacts of good daylighting, but there is less guidance on how to do it well.

Version 4.1 for BD+C and ID+C, coming out in December, is about creating “stepping stones,” not about changing the fundamentals.

by Paula Melton

I sat down with Melissa Baker of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) at Greenbuild to talk about LEED v4.1 for Building Design and Construction (BD+C) and Interior Design and Construction (ID+C). Baker is senior vice president for technical core. Here’s what I found out.

First, the timeline: USGBC will release a draft of the rating system in December. You’ll have a month to peruse that while they build up the registration and submittal infrastructure. The beta will start in January 2019.

A case study of Legrand’s triangulation between LEED, Better Buildings Challenge, and GHG emission reduction efforts

by Jenny Carney

I count myself among a subset of sustainability professionals who work in the context of both building performance and enterprise-level strategy and planning.

Buildings need renewables—but we need to look beyond the site.

by Joshua Radoff

No man is an island, and neither is a building.