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LEED 2012

LEED 2012 – 2nd Public Comment – LT (Location and Transportation) Section

Do you have comments or questions on this draft? Discuss them below with your fellow LEED professionals. Substantive comments submitted here during USGBC's second public comment period here will be submitted to USGBC and considered "official" public comments.

More information on LEED 2012 certification and the second public comment

The new Location and Transportation (LT) category still consists mostly of credits from the old Sustainable Sites category that aren’t so much about the site itself as where it’s located.

Major Changes

The biggest overall change to this draft is the new LEED for Neighborhood Development Location credit (5–17 points). If you’re wondering how building in a LEED-ND pre-certified Stage 2, or certified Stage 3 project can be worth that many points—this credit would become an alternate compliance path for the whole LT section.

There have been some big changes in the rest of the LT section since the first public comment. Apparently a "Bicycle Storage" prerequisite didn’t go over big with commenters (too many projects would have been ineligible?), and has been removed completely.

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What had been the "Site Selection" credit has morphed into a prerequisite and a credit. The prereq, Sensitive Land Protection (required), is structured very much like the current SSc1, but as a prerequisite, those requirements would have bumped a lot of projects out of LEED consideration. Accordingly, each of the requirements for greenfield sites now has “mitigation requirements.” For example, if you must build some or all of your project on prime farmland, you can purchase or donate conservation easements for similar land elsewhere.

A credit titled Enhanced Site Protection (1 point) offers a higher bar. There are three options: locate on an infill location within a historic district; locate on a brownfield; or locate on a site listed for preferential development by one of seven federal programs, such as the EPA National Priorities List. This new approach appears to have allowed for a raising of the bar on brownfield remediation (see the SS section), and a new credit for historic buildings that appeared in the first public comment period has been rolled in here.

The old Development Density credit (SSc2) is now titled Development Density and Diverse Uses (1–8 points). The basic intent has still not changed, but as with the first public comment draft, there are some changes to the documentation requirements. Pedestrian-friendly streets are now a key part of the credit, and credit for locating in a LEED-ND project has been moved to its own credit (see above).

The Low-Emitting and Fuel-Efficient Vehicles credit (1 point for Schools) had already been tightened up significantly for the first public comment, and it has been tightened again. Actually, it has disappeared for most projects: only schools and warehouses are eligible for it now, and the requirements are to provide a low-emitting vehicle fleet for the facility.

Minor Changes

The new Reduced Automobile Dependence credit is now Quality Transit and Reduced VMT (1–4 points)—with “VMT” meaning vehicle miles traveled. Other than the name change, and a change to intent that matches it (a more positive focus on mass transit options), and some changes to point thresholds, this is mostly consistent with the first draft.

There have been only minor changes to the Bicycle Network, Storage, and Shower Rooms (1 point), including the credit name (they’re not “changing” rooms anymore). Notably, the credit now defines minimum requirements for a bike rack: that it allow use of a U-lock, have a two-point support system, be accessible without moving other bikes, and that it be securely anchored.

Walkable Streets is now Walkable Project Site (1 point), with requirements that have been simplified since the first draft. The requirements focus on designing the building frontage to be friendly to pedestrians, with features like entry off of a public space, and continuous sidewalks that connect to public sidewalks.

The new Parking Reduction credit is now Reduced Parking Footprint (1–2 points). The key requirement remains from the first draft: reduce capacity over a “base ratio” given in the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ Parking Planning Handbook. The requirements are tougher for transit-served projects. A change is that the language codifies the long understanding that fleet and inventory vehicles are excluded from parking credit calculations.

What do you think of these proposed changes to the LT section? Please post your comments and questions below.

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LEED 2012 – Second Public Comment – Guide and Open Forum

USGBC has opened the second public comment period on LEED 2012, the next version of the LEED rating systems. This public comment period is scheduled to run from August 1st to Sept. 14th.

As with the first public comment period, which opened in Nov. 2011, LEEDuser is here to provide guidance on key changes to LEED 2012 certification, and to provide an open forum for members of the LEED community to understand the changes and weigh in on them.

At USGBC's request, LEEDuser has set up a series of forums on the LEED 2012 draft. These forums are both a chance to register a public comment or comments on the draft, and a place to publicly discuss the draft. Questions and dialogue are welcome and encouraged! (If you prefer to send your comment to USGBC directly, see the link below.)

Please review the new draft of LEED 2012  and share your thoughts with the LEEDuser community and USGBC below!

LEEDuser's guide to key changes in LEED 2012, second comment

• Integrated Process (IP)  (see below)

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• Location and Transportation (LT)• Sustainable Sites (SS)• Water Efficiency (WE)• Energy & Atmosphere (EA)• Materials & Resources (MR)• Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)• Performance (PF)• Innovation (see below)

• Regional Priority (see below)

Key USGBC links

Download LEED 2012 Rating Systems DraftsOfficial Summary of Changes in LEED 2012 Draft

And now, our guide to key changes in the new LEED 2012 draft, starting with Integrated Process.

LEEDuser's Guide to the Integrated Process (IP) Section

The entire Integrated Process category remains as a new section (the first section of LEED—move over, SS). So does the first IP credit. The name of that credit has changed in this round, from “Integrated Process” to the more cumbersome Discovery – Analyses to Support Integrative Process (1 point). The new version of this credit is much more cleanly worded, and is organized by topic—Energy Load Reduction, Water Systems, and Site Assessment—instead of phase (for example, “Iterative Analysis during Conceptual Design). Teams would have to complete analyses in all three categories, and identify ways to reduce environmental burdens.

A new credit has been added to this section for the second public comment: Implementing Strategies (1 point). This credit appears to have been birthed when the lengthy requirements for the previous IP credit (now Discovery) were slimmed down. This credit focuses on two key requirements. The first is an analysis of synergies based on assessments performed during “discovery,” and comparison of at least two alternate designs. The second is a commitment to use of ongoing feedback mechanisms during building occupancy.

Despite a lot of feedback against the change during the first comment period, a relevant specialty is still required in the new language for the LEED Accredited Professional credit (1 point)—a change from LEED 2009. However, a new requirement that additional team members be LEED credentialed has been dropped.

Innovation (IN)

The Innovation credit isn’t significantly changed in the new LEED 2012 draft, although it is allotted 1–6 points rather than 1–5 as in LEED 2009. Even with that increase in emphasis, the Exemplary Performance path is allocated only 1–2 points (down from 1–3), while the Innovation path retains 1–5 points.  A Pilot Credit Library option, which was not included in the first draft, is reintroduced and given 1–5 points.

As with the first draft, the LEED AP credit has been moved to the new Integrated Process section (see above).

Regional Priority

The draft includes some minor wording changes to the Regional Priority credit, but the overall intent and requirements are the same. As with LEED 2009, this draft allocates 1–4 points to Regional Priority.

[See the links above for similar guidance to changes in the other sections.]

What do you think of these changes to LEED 2012? Discuss below!

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