The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) announced today that version 4 of their widely used LEED rating system was approved by members in a vote. The oft-delayed rules revision garnered 86% approval. LEED ratings systems are in use worldwide, and 1.7 million square feet are certified daily. Many of the proposed rules faced push back from stakeholders, especially those in the Material and Resources category. Ultimately, however, USGBC has taken a large step forward today and it will likely keep driving the green building movement.
The Energy and Atmosphere category continues to be the most heavily weighted area of LEED for New Construction with 33 of a 110 possible points contained within it. Fundamental commissioning is again a prerequisite, but enhanced commissioning will be attracting additional attention in v4. While enhanced commissioning is currently worth up to 2 points, it will soon be worth up to 6:
- Enhanced commissioning (3 points) or enhanced and monitoring-based commissioning (4 points)
- Envelope commissioning (2 points)
Enlightened owners have been realizing the benefits of commissioning for years, but more interest is sure to be focused on this industry and its impact on high performance buildings thanks to LEED. Commissioning is a quality-oriented process to ensure the project’s goals for system performance are achieved. It is mostly commonly thought of in relation to HVAC systems, but can be applied to lighting controls, renewable energy, the building enclosure and more. Advanced Building Performance is a leader in the field of commissioning, and has collaborated on over 130 green building projects in the last decade. Our project specialists are ready for these coming changes to the LEED ratings systems, and look forward to our first v4 registered projects.