USGBC Releases Regional Credits

Thu, 2009-09-24 00:44

The U.S. Green Building Council has released its schedule of LEED regional credits–one of the changes the standards-setting body initiated under its revamp of the LEED system. LEED 2009, also called LEED v3, puts greater emphasis on building design that has a more holistic impact on the environment. Accommodating regional issues, such as the water shortage in the West, for instance, is part of that change. 

The regional credits, which the USGBC has broken down by zip code in each state on its website, address six specific environmental issues within a region–issues selected from among the existing LEED credits. The regional credits work as “bonus points” for developers. A project can be awarded as many as four extra points, one point each for achieving up to four of the six priority credits.

The release of these credits is part of a three-pronged effort by USGBC to remake its standards into a comprehensive package. USGBC says the changes to the LEED rating system also reflect the rapid advancements in building science and technology, providing incentives for strategies that have the greatest positive impacts on energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reductions. Other parts of its strategy include LEED Online, a new tech interface to LEED registration and certification and a new building certification model, which is based on a network of independent certification bodies.