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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.

A surprise addition to LEED v4’s MR credit category could be seen as an olive branch to the chemicals industry. Will the industry play along?

One of the main reasons USGBC unexpectedly opened a sixth public comment period on LEED version 4 is to gather market feedback on a new option for recognition of sustainability efforts not at the product level, where LEED project teams usually work, but up the supply chain.

Despite waiting till the last minute to study, I got a really good score and became a LEED Green Associate. Here’s where I spill all my secrets!

by Paula Melton

Originally published 03/13/2013, updated 8/7/2018

Let’s get one thing straight: I don’t usually procrastinate.

But when I read that being a LEED Green Associate involved “basic” green building knowledge, I figured I had things pretty well under control. I started studying six days before the test.

Need help preparing for a LEED v4 exam?

LEED Interpretation #10250, issued January 1, 2013 and applicable to all LEED 2009 projects, as well NC-v2.2 and other systems, now allows for the use of urea in combination with melamine formaldehyde (MF) in certain circumstances.

by Brent Ehrlich

Editor's Update: As expected, LEED Interpretation #10250 was revisited by USGBC in its 4/1/13 release. This article has been updated to address that revision. 

USGBC has announced a 6th public comment period for LEED version 4, the newest version of the LEED rating systems, but it says that there will be no delay in the member balloting and launch of the system.

The concept plaque, a digital, data-driven “performance dashboard,” would keeping a building’s LEED certification up to date with its actual performance.

LEED v4 got most of the attention at the November 2012 Greenbuild conference, but another LEED concept was unveiled that could, over time, have as much or more impact on how we perceive and interact with the LEED Rating System.

USA Today is at it again with another attack on LEED, this time focused on schools. Do they save energy? Do they improve student performance? There is still not enough data, but this article does its best to disprove that.

by Nadav Malin

USA Today is at it again with bizarre accusations in previous articles that LEED buildings wrongly reward teams for reaping low-hanging fruit.

Do they save energy? Do they improve student performance? Any dispassionate reading of the tidbits of evidence scattered throughout this rambling, unfocused story would suggest that there is still not enough data to answer either of those questions confidently, although Frank’s sensationalistic tone does its best to imply that the answer is no.