Third public comment period open for USGBC's LEED Green Building Program

March 2, 2012

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced in mid-February that the third public comment period for the proposed 2012 update to its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building program would be open on March 1, 2012. According to a release from the organization, this will last until March 20, and marks the start of the LEED 2012 program delivery process.

"LEED sits at the core of the green building movement, and is critical in realizing our collective mission," said Scot Horst, Senior Vice President of LEED, USGBC. "LEED’s strength comes from its continuous evolution. This continuous improvement is the outcome of thousands of technical volunteers working to develop the program and the adaptability of the program to technological and market changes."

The current draft of LEED has been altered many times to address technical stringency and rigor, measurement and performance tools and an enhanced user experience. According to the release, the refinements to the requirements come from an examination of market data, stakeholder-generated ideas, advances in technology and expert engagement.

The release noted that additional performance-based management features will help projects manage and measure a range of indicators, including energy and water usage, building material and site selection and indoor environmental quality.

"LEED 2012 is the next step towards a global, performance-based application," continued Horst. "In LEED 2012, a project’s engagement with LEED will represent an ongoing commitment that is supported by a suite of performance management tools."

The push by the USGBC to get more buildings up to par in terms of energy efficiency is something that has been mirrored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

A recent summit was held outside of Washington, D.C. to address issues like energy efficient buildings and technology that helps to improve sustainable infrastructure and lowering the country's carbon footprint.

According to the DOE website, the summit featured a Technology Showcase that outlined projects ranging from grid-scale storage to building efficiency.

The DOE has also designated an innovation HUB to headquarter its national energy efficient buildings effort. Located at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the initiative features the brightest minds from a variety of sectors that are working together to design, develop and test energy efficient buildings and technology.

The Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings (GPIC) will deploy these discoveries in and around Philadelphia, using the area's sufficient and varied building stock.