Did anyone see the that USGBC has launched a set of proposals to increase the energy minimums for LEED v2009, which is open for project registration until October 31, 2016. Please visit: http://www.usgbc.org/articles/public-comment-period-open-until-1113-leed... to see the announcement.
I like the proposal to increase to the minimum energy performance thresholds for LEED 2009, however I wish that the new proposal would be to simply adopt the energy requirements and standards in LEED v4 and just be done with it. ASHRAE 90.1-2010 is the latest and greatest building energy code (standard) in most states. By changing the existing LEED v2009 (ASHRAE 90.1-2007) to v4's 90.1-2010, it would actually save project teams time in having to run two separate energy models because the building would not have to be compared against both standards. AND it would meet the intent of the proposal, which is to ensure that LEED v2009 keeps pace with the latest state energy code adoption.
Yes, I am aware that project teams may substitute the requirements from LEED v4 for certain prerequisites and credits, but the fact that many states have already adopted, or will soon be adopting 90.1-2010, it's time to cut the apron strings and raise the sustainability bar...to code. Simply allowing projects to earn additional points in order to achieve certification is "exemplary performance" and projects can earn these Innovation points. Specific new point thresholds that represent the percent increases in energy efficiency has somehow got to align with the point thresholds as defined in v4.
Personally I think this is just confusing. When trying to compare a LEED v2009 building to a LEED v2009 building and discussing points earned, it gets messy and confusing. Just go with implementing the LEED v4 requirement of ASHRAE 90.1-2010 and give people a 60 day notice. That should satisfy most project teams.
By transitioning to code (90.1-2010), it would be a smooth transition for project teams regarding LEED v4, and more importantly, ensure that LEED-certified projects continue to exemplify LEADERSHIP in energy performance. I certainly hope that any version of LEED would always reference the latest building code/standard and the not the previous version(s).