Greenbuild: LEED 2009 / V3.0 Lift-off


At Greenbuild, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) highlighted the changes in the 2009 or version 3.0 release of the rating system.

USGBC executives gave a talk describing the LEED rating system as a key tool for dealing with the current environmental crisis, as well as an evolutionary process for achieving higher levels of sustainability. Their argument: only when architects and builders engage the rating system can they then move up through the process and use more complex sustainability concepts and processes.

They also noted that even if every building in the world was LEED platinum, the global community would still be facing the same dire predictions on climate change.

USCBC executives said the way architects were using LEED changed, so the rating system had to be adapted:

  • Pre-requisites and credits were standardized, then harmonized across project types, which makes working on complex projects that cover multiple project types easier. 
  • The weighting (importance) of credits changed, and reflects an effort to associate a list of environmental problems, such as climate change, with the relative impact of individual LEED credits on the environment.  
  • LEED 2009 is now on a hundred point scale.
  •  There is a greater focus on regional credits, and the regionalization of LEED. USGBC asked chapters how they wanted to incentivize local innovation and design, and the response was to create regional priority credits.
  • Building energy bills must now be submitted with the project so that LEED can create better data on LEED performance over time. USGBC seeks a “new committment” to high performance, and to prove that LEED buildings perform better over time than non-LEED buildings.

To encourage continued exploration of the LEED rating system, and entrepreneurship, USGBC is setting up a “Pilot Credit Library,” where project owners can submit new ideas for credits.

The next year will be spent rolling out the 2009 version. 2010 will be spent refinining the 2009 version, and the next iteration of LEED will appear in 2011.

The new message was: “Green buildings for everyone in a generation.”

Find out about the 2008 event as well as Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix.

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