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An open letter to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) on revealing more granular energy data from LEED buildings


For the last year, as the transparency and disclosure movement has gained steam in the building products industry, we’ve heard many compelling arguments for why manufacturers should be transparent about what’s in their products. From USGBC representatives and members, we’ve heard that:

Has USGBC finally cracked the code to an easy, accessible LEED Online experience? LEED v4 projects will experience a simpler, more integrated website when they get to work on their LEED documentation.

Congratulations to the 2013 class of LEED Fellows, announced by USGBC.

When the idea of a LEED Fellow credential was first floated, I wasn't sure about it. This was when the term "legacy" was about to be affixed to tens of thousands of existing LEED APs, and we were going to be asked to navigate a new jungle of credential types. Would it be worth it?

The LEEDuser team will be at Greenbuild, along with many of our friends.

On your way to Greenbuild 2013 in Philadelphia? Myself and the rest of the  LEEDuser team are looking forward to seeing you there! I would love to meet up with you at our booth, #1617. We have a special giveaway there for LEEDuser members and nonmembers alike.

Does LEED v4 ban PVC? Let's look at the details of the new rating system.

LEEDuser continues to add sample documentation to our credit-by-credit, rating system by rating system Documentation Toolkits, now with a LEED Gold office building in Denver.

EBOM Gold project in Denver, Colorado." class="image-right" height="243" src="/sites/default/files/articles/LEED%2520EBOM%2520gold%2520project.jpg" title="LEED-EBOM Gold project in Denver, Colorado." width="186" />

Industry leaders say LEED development doesn’t meet the definition of consensus, but USGBC disagrees.

by Paula Melton

After three years of development, six public comment periods, and plenty of controversy, USGBC members voted to approve LEED v4—in a landslide.

LEED version 4 has been approved by a vote of U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) members, with 86% of the voting body voting in the affirmative during a June 2013 ballot period. Approval of LEED v4 as the next version of the LEED Rating System clears the way for its launch during the Greenbuild conference in November.

Still trying to figure out to vote for your firm? Or just an interested bystander? Here’s how we see the pros and cons of the v4 ballot.

by Nadav Malin

The USGBC will refund LEED certification fees to the first LEED certified project in the 112 countries that so far lack one, in a program it's calling LEED Earth.

Want to get a refund on your LEED certification fees? If your project is in Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, or Tuvalu, and you move quickly enough, you may be in luck. Today the U.S. Green Building Council announced an initiative called "LEED Earth," in which it will offer free LEED certification to the first projects to certify in the 112 countries that so far lack a LEED certified project. USGBC says that this is part of "an effort to accelerate sustainable development around the world," and that it "aims to bring LEED certification and thereby better-performing buildings into new markets."

Technical changes to LEED–ND have gotten lost in the BD&C shuffle.

by Paula Melton

With all the furor over the U.S. Green Building Council’s complete overhaul of LEED v4 for building design and construction (BD&C) rating systems, no one seems to have been paying a lot of attention to how the next version of LEED (if approved under the current member ballot) is set to affect LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED–ND).

Poison pill pushed by illegal lobbyists, or exciting, bipartisan energy bill that could change everything? It's up to you.

by Paula Melton

We’ve been keeping an eye on the sweeping Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (PDF), introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D–NH) and Rob Portman (R–Ohio).

The common-sense bill, likely to come to the Senate floor any day now, enjoys broad support across the political spectrum. It would boost the national model energy code for both homes and commercial buildings, support commercial retrofits with financing help, and develop training programs for green building jobs.

Earlier editions of this spreadsheet from USGBC raised more questions than they answered, but some of the frequently asked questions about the matrix have been addressed with this latest release.

by Lauren Sparandara

The IEQ Space Matrix, currently in its third edition as of April 1, 2015, contains lists that categorize spaces for applicability to LEED Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) credits. The lists are modified from the spaces in IES Lighting Handbook, 10th Edition.

“Winging it” on project-specific LEED credit questions is no longer advised with a new communications initiative.

LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit offers full downloads of a succcessful LEED-CI 2009 project.