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A fresh online platform for BIT, which targets low-performing existing buildings, draws users through simple, low-cost, step-by-step improvements.

by Paula Melton

LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (O+M) is designed to make pretty good buildings even better. But O+M has never really gone after low-performing buildings.

LEED for Homes project teams should take notice, and there’s a new path for maximizing innovation points under v4.1.

by Claudia Mezey

This quarter’s LEED Addenda were released by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) on April 21, 2023.   

The one-liner: no major changes, but LEED for Homes projects should review the new interpretations and international tips.  

The new, more streamlined process allows teams to use LEED v4 or v4.1 credit documentation to earn WELL v2 features and vice versa. Users will only need to submit proof once.

by Paula Melton

How do you like reinventing the wheel?

In the green building world, there are dozens of strategies and approaches that have to be figured out project by project, team by team, over and over again. 

Sometimes this makes sense: every building is different.

Sometimes it doesn’t.

USGBC has tweaked proposed changes to credit language that would introduce harder energy (and new carbon) requirements for v4 BD+C and ID+C.

by Paula Melton

It’s time to bring LEED v4—first released a decade ago and still very much in use—up to speed on current code expectations for energy performance. Proposed new metrics for the Optimize Energy Performance credit would also require project teams to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from operations in tandem with reductions in energy consumption.

A life-science developer and WSP have shared detailed WBLCA documentation, providing insight into the v4.1 process and submittal requirements.

by Paula Melton

When LEED v4 first arrived on the scene in 2013, it newly incentivized whole-building life-cycle assessment (WBLCA) that could demonstrate significant reductions in the project’s carbon footprint.

Green cleaning updates help ease the use of the O+M rating system, while new pilot credits for electrification, decarbonization, and other issues offer new pathways for project teams.

by Axel Jeremie

This quarter’s LEED Addenda were released on Wednesday, February 8. USGBC posted the official update here.   Our hot take is…. 

Conducting whole-building life-cycle assessments for LEED is part art, part science. Here are 5 tips and tricks.

by Sarah Buffaloe

As embodied carbon gains more attention, more project teams are pursuing the Building Life-Cycle Impact Reduction credit in LEED v4.0 and v4.1 and choosing option 4, Whole-Building Life-Cycle Assessment. If you are in that boat but wondering where to start, we would like to offer a simple equation.

To conduct a whole-building life-cycle assessment (WBLCA), you need two pieces of information: the quantity of each material and the embodied environmental factor for that material.

Quantity of material x Environmental factor = Embodied environmental impact

In LEED and elsewhere, we need to take decisive and measurable action on social justice issues.

by Mohammad Abbasi and Hala Alfalih

It’s been more than two years since EDI (short for equity, diversity, and inclusion) has become a trend and buzz word, and many organizations have issued a statement to address the EDI challenges within their industries. But through LEED, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has been pioneering social equity in many ways for more than a decade.

Come spring, USGBC will ballot updates to Optimize Energy Performance and Minimum Energy Performance in v4 BD+C and ID+C. Now is your chance to offer feedback on the draft language.

by Paula Melton

NOTE: We closed comments on this post because the public comment period ended January 13, 2023.

The shift in existing building decarbonization under LEED v5 could be a complete 180 from what happened in v4.

by Paula Melton

I’m just home from Greenbuild 2022 in San Francisco. I’ve never felt such a palpable sense of urgency—some might say rising panic—at Greenbuild regarding the scale of the challenges before us as an industry when it comes to decarbonization, social justice, and climate adaptation.

The same third-party certifier, GBCI, already reviews LEED and WELL submittals. So why isn’t dual certification more streamlined? The governing orgs tacitly answer that question with an update.

by Paula Melton

Everyone loves a crosswalk. It can help you get safely across tricky territory. But sometimes you have to ask … why is this territory so tricky in the first place?

USGBC is moving forward on next phase of LEED, with a public comment draft expected next year. Where will it take us on equity, resilience, and more?

by Paula Melton

LEED v5 development is ramping up, and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is going to need your help to make it happen.

USGBC is planning stringency boosts for Minimum Energy Performance and Optimize Energy Performance under LEED v4 BD+C and ID+C—and it’s different this time.

by Paula Melton

“LEED projects have a very long tail,” said a U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) official, explaining why the organization will be introducing greater stringency for energy performance prerequisites and credits under LEED v4.

In other words, new construction projects registering today likely won’t get built for a long time and will continue to “exist for many years” after the current version of the rating system has closed. That’s according to Corey Enck, vice president for LEED technical development, who was speaking at a Greenbuild San Francisco session on the future of LEED.

With Peter Templeton staying on at USGBC and GBCI, an exciting new framework is on the horizon.

by Paula Melton

We’ve known for a long time that the LEED rating systems, though they’ve had a tremendous impact on the global building industry, can’t move the needle fast enough to prevent the most catastrophic climate change impacts.

Sure, you can check the boxes and move on, but do you even know what those product certifications and ecolabels say and mean?

by Paula Melton

Part of the point of LEED certification is that it should incentivize all the right things. No need to second-guess the requirements: just fulfill those requirements and hang the plaque.