The US Green Building Council is to make substantial revisions to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system in 2013, enforcing more stringent regulations that builders must comply with for buildings to receive environmentally friendly certification.
The revision is set to make alterations to some strategies that builders have taken advantage of to achieved LEED certification, whilst also addressing concerns that some certified buildings have failed to meet energy and water use projections.
Building operators would be required to produce a plan for running the building efficiently under new guidelines, informing the Green Building Council of projected energy and water use for five years. Consumption projections will contribute towards a LEED certification, which currently places less emphasis on energy and water consumption. Buildings that exceed their consumption projections will not, however, be stripped of their LEED certification.
New buildings will be rewarded for using materials with disclosed ingredients and those that are grown, extracted or made in an environmentally efficient manner, with points towards LEED certification granted. Materials including potentially hazardous chemicals will also be discouraged, a change that has garnered support from public-health officials.
The council’s 13,000 members will vote on the proposed revisions in June 2013 and, if approved, the revisions will become mandatory as of June 2015, providing contractors with time to comply with the alterations.
Since its launch in 2000, around 13,500 commercial buildings in the US have received LEED certification; a further 30,000 will not be forced to adhere to the revised LEED criteria having already made initial steps towards seeking LEED approval.