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September 8, 2009 @ 12:21 pm
LEED Building Performance Initiative Launched

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leedThanks to my friend and reader Max for directing me to this Green Inc. article about U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) efforts to improve LEED certification. I addressed this issue in last week’s “Good News, Bad News” post. In that post I mentioned the efforts and need to recertify buildings over time as well as the desire to focus on energy savings instead of more cosmetic green features.

Several comments in the referenced article address the divide between the LEED checklist and the goals of the process, such as energy conservation. Another criticism is that the requirements can be too generic and not reflective specific site characteristics (climate, location, functionality, etc.). To address these concerns and others the USGBC developed the performance initiative detailed in this press release.

The ultimate goal of their plans is to collect a broad array of data that can be analyzed and disseminated to building owners and managers to improve and maximize the performance of LEED buildings. “This initiative is about gathering knowledge about building performance in a way no one has ever done before,” said USGBC LEED Senior Vice President, Scot Horst. “The information that we collect from our certified projects is a workable, holistic approach for achieving better performing buildings…We want to be able to show people that there are cost efficiencies as well as environmental benefits…The more we know, the more we’ll adapt. I can see a point where the whole system is based on performance and buildings will have to be recertified on a regular basis.”

Success would have dramatic results given the scale and growth of the industry. According to the press release, there are now over 131,000 LEED Accredited Professionals and 35,000 participating projects comprising more than 7.1 billion square feet in the 50 U.S. states and 91 countries. And, the USGBC believes “greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy.”

One Response to “LEED Building Performance Initiative Launched”

  1. Biomass Farmer Says:

    Bravo to the LEED people for all that they have done for green building. Raising the awareness of long term cost efficiencies is a good next goal. My recent study of super insulated construction like ICF and SIPS has educated me on their benefits and their upfront cost penalty. Only by making a comprehensive cost vs. energy savings analysis can I consider using those techniques. The challenge is reaping the benefits of such long horizon thinking were I to sell my home in the typical 5 to 10 year average time. Making real estate discussions on efficiency is common as those on the number of bedrooms would go a long way towards to that.

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