LEED Certification continues to grow in popularity, but commercial construction builders who undertake new projects in the near future will likely face significant changes in how buildings are graded.
The U.S. Green Building Council is reviewing all LEED certification standards, and has developed an initial list of expected changes. Those changes cover interior design, building design and existing buildings, among other changes, and those changes are expected to be finalized by the fall.
LEED certification system changes happen every two years, and that’s why it is important for commercial construction companies to stay ahead of those developments. Justin Black, project manager for CM Black, said the continually evolving LEED certification process is something that every company must monitor.
“Green building continues to grow, and you have to know exactly what is required to meet those standards,” Black said. “As the LEED rating system evolves, builders must stay on top of those changes, and have a true understanding of how each LEED process affects the end result of a sustainable building.”
Green building slowed a little for new buildings in 2011, with only a 3 percent rise from 2010. However, LEED certified construction of existing buildings, known as LEED-EBOM, jumped 18 percent in 2010. Those projects actually accounted for more construction than new LEED projects for the first time in 2011, and that trend may continue in 2012.
Does your company know how much material needs to be recycled, or what kind of materials to use in both new and existing buildings? Changes to the LEED certification system could result in differing scores for buildings. This article details many of the changes currently being discussed, including changes to water efficiency requirements, a new walk-able street credit, and heat island reduction credit.
Perhaps the most important development in LEED certification in 2012 is that building owners must recertify every five years, to make sure they are staying current with energy saving techniques.
“LEED certification is an ever-changing landscape,” Justin Black said. “We look forward to seeing the finalized ratings system for 2012, and beginning the process of implementing that for our future projects.”