The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced that the third public comment period for the proposed 2012 update to its LEED green building program will open March 1 and run through March 20. The comment period 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."
This third draft of LEED has been refined to address technical stringency and rigor, measurement and performance tools, and an enhanced user experience. The technical changes have been informed by market data, stakeholder-generated ideas, expert engagement and advances in technology. Additional performance-based management features will help projects measure and manage energy and water usage, site and building material 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."
LEED 2012 extends itself as a long-term engagement tool for organizations and projects, enabling a focus on continuous improvement. Programs aimed at helping organizations use LEED to benchmark building performance in preparation for certification and for tracking performance of their buildings post-certification provide opportunities for ongoing engagement between project teams and USGBC both before certification and after the plaque is awarded.
For LEED projects outside of the U.S., LEED 2012 will offer a new global perspective. Through modified language, new requirements and options that increase flexibility, LEED 2012 makes it easier for the international community to engage, according to USGBC.
In an effort to redefine and enhance the user experience, LEED credit requirements have been rewritten to better align with documentation already required by the architecture and construction fields. Improvements to submittals, documentation paths and LEED Online improve LEED usability.
As the LEED program evolves to address the dynamic needs of the building industry, the development process is based on principles of transparency, openness, and inclusiveness, and includes multiple comment periods where input received is incorporated into LEED. The third public comment documents, including technical refinements, scorecards, and responses to comments from the previous public comment period, will be available onusgbc.org/LEED2012beginning March 1. Members of the public can comment on any substantive changes made since the second public comment period, which ran from Aug. 1 through Sept. 14, 2011.
Once the comment period process concludes, LEED 2012 will be balloted in June and launch in November. To vote in the ballot, USGBC members must opt-in to the Consensus Body beginning April 2. The Consensus Body is made up of employees of USGBC national member organizations in good standing, and ensures ballot participation from the full diversity of members who are using LEED in the marketplace. To be eligible to join the Consensus Body and vote in the LEED 2012 ballot, members must be in good standing by March 1, and be maintained throughout the balloting period.