The U. S. Green Building Council recently released a draft update on its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across many important metrics, including: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. ((USGBC, “Intro – What LEED Is”, available at http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=1988))
The current version of LEED, known as LEED 2009 or Version 3.0, has only been in use for less than two years. However, revisions proposed in the new draft promise to better recognize the values inherent in preserving older and historic buildings. Two main areas open for comment during this draft process include 1) structural and technical changes and 2) alterations to the scoring process. While it can be difficult to navigate the complex proposed changes, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has provided an informative description of the revisions and comment process. The first round of public comments is being sought until January 14, 2011. A second public comment period will open July 1 and close August 15, 2011. These comment periods afford the preservation community an excellent opportunity to make a significant impact.
For the official LEED rating system development page and to submit your comments (this MUST be done online), visit http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=2360