A proposed update of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) LEED green-building certification program is in the midst of a fifth public-comment period, which will remain open until Dec. 10.

“LEED v4 will have the greatest impact of any rating system we’ve developed by focusing on building performance and rewarding innovative product manufacturers who offer best-in-class products,” Scot Horst, senior vice president, LEED, USGBC, said. “LEED v4 will help change the way project teams think, integrate, plan, execute, and operate their buildings.”

LEED v4:

• Allocates nearly 20 percent of all points to optimizing energy performance over ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

• Extends green-building solutions to market sectors including data centers, warehouses and distribution centers, hospitality, mid-rise residential, and existing schools and retail.

• Includes more options for projects outside of the United States.

• Further encourages innovative thinking and decision making concerning building materials and design. Using fewer, better materials will result in up to nine LEED points, incentivizing manufacturers to voluntarily report the makeup of their products and reduce negative impacts from the extraction of raw materials to the manufacturing process.

When fully launched—the ballot period is expected to open June 1, 2013—LEED v4 will offer “an improved user experience that will make the certification-review and documentation process more intuitive and efficient,” the USGBC says. A beta test of LEED v4 will begin in November.

Approximately 35 revised credits are included in the public-review draft. To view and to comment, click here.


Editor's note: For an analysis of expected changes related to HVAC and to earn a Green Building Certification Institute continuing-education hour, read the June 2012 HPAC Engineering article “LEED v4.”