WASHINGTON – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released the LEED regional credits as part of LEED 2009, the new version of the LEED Green Building Rating System. These LEED credits encourage that specific regional environmental priorities be addressed when it comes to the design, construction and operations of buildings in different geographic locations.
“Because environmental priorities differ among various regions of the country—the challenges in the Southeast differ from those in the Northwest, for example—regionally specific credits give LEED a way to directly respond to diverse, regionally grounded issues,” explains Brendan Owens, vice president of technical development, USGBC. “The inclusion of these regional LEED credits is the Council’s first step toward addressing regional environmental issues.”
With the help of USGBC’s regional Councils, Chapters and affiliates, credits addressing six specific environmental issues within a region were identified from among the existing LEED credits. In LEED 2009, LEED projects will be able to earn “bonus points” for implementing green building strategies that address the important environmental issues facing their region. A project can be awarded as many as four extra points—one point each for achieving up to four of the six priority credits.
LEED 2009 is one of the three major components that make up LEED Version 3 (“v3”), the next version of the LEED green building certification program (launching April 27). The changes to the LEED Rating System reflect the rapid advancements in building science and technology and provides incentives for strategies that have greater positive impacts on energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reductions, among other priorities.
The other components of LEED v3 include a faster, smarter and easier to use LEED Online, the tool for managing the LEED registration and certification process; and a new building certification model administered by the Green Building Certification Institute through a network of internationally recognized independent ISO-accredited certification bodies. To learn more about LEED v3 and to download a region-by-region list of priority credits, visit www.usgbc.org/leed2009.
The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy saving green buildings. With a membership comprising 78 local affiliates, more than 20,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 100,000 LEED Accredited Professionals, the USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to soar to $60 billion by 2010. The USGBC leads an unlikely constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.
Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39 percent of CO2 emissions, 40 percent of energy consumption and 15 percent of GDP, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85 percent of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.
The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. The U USGBC’s LEED Rating System is the preeminent standard for the design, construction and operation of green buildings; 35,000 projects are currently participating in the LEED system, comprising more than 4.5 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 91 countries.
By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, business and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.