LEED 2012: New Changes to the Rating System

 

BC Cancer Research Centre, a LEED Gold Certified Building. Image Credit: IBI Group, Peter Wilmse & Ivo Talker; Henriquez Partners.

LEED ratings have done great things for environmental awareness. The exclusive, environmentally-conscious building design protocols have helped raise public consciousness about eco-friendly design, efficiency and have inspired beautiful, eco-friendly design projects. That is not to say the system is without its critics. Some industry insiders have complained that LEED points are easy to rack up and difficult to quantify in some convoluted building processes. Another issue is the fact that in many cases, LEED certification is a result of a one-time assessment of a building’s design and construction, with little to no follow-up in the future.

An article recently published on the Fast Company website reports that the LEED system is about to undergo a bit of a transition. Going forward, LEED certification will now reflect how buildings are actually saving energy and water, and they ways they can improve.

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit organization that administers LEED certifications, states that it wants its volunteer members to think of green buildings and LEED certification as assets rather than as items on a list. The revised system, coined LEED 2012, will debut in November, 2011, and will explore the new technologies and energy-efficient building practices that improve a structure’s overall efficiency.

Scot Horst, USGBC’s Senior VP for LEED tells Fast Company that the new system should be considered a “Zagat rating” for buildings.

Using LEED 2012, business owners can track the environmental performance of LEED-certified buildings with new apps from LEED Online. “Faster, cheaper, more automatic” is the new slogan for this new system.

Steel and LEED Buildings

Steel is an environmentally-friendly building material that is often used in LEED-certified buildings. Because it is highly recyclable and helps facilitate energy efficiency, steel makes an easy choice for environmentally-conscious builders. A large percentage of LEED buildings are comprised primarily of steel. Click here to learn more about steel’s environmentally-friendly properties.

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