Saturday, December 14, 2013

LEED and Innovation

Cover to LEED In Motion
There has been much buzz surrounding the new LEED v4. Some say that this new version is going to improve the state of the industry with new features and goals. In the recent report, LEED in Motion, USGBC has a section entitled "Innovation". This section highlights just how groundbreaking the new version is. Their goal has always been to "push the industry surges into the future" and that "LEED has been there every step of the way to reiterate its standards with increase rigor." The positive attitude has propelled this as the industry standard for excellence.

The section of the report is broken up into three sections: Rating System Development, Innovation Credits, and Industry Innovation. The following includes key highlights from the sections.

 Rating System Development
  • Aims to "continuously improve the cycle that enables the rating system" in order to prepare the market for changes
  • The system is purposefully updated every three years so that they may focus on technology and industry improvements
  • This constantly changing standard challenges professionals to remain current and relevant
  • Changes to LEED: public input and then voted on by the members of USGBC

Innovation Credits
  • "Innovation credit 2 is a 'bonus' credit in LEED that rewards points for 'Innovation in Design' or 'Innovation in Operations' efforts, depending on the rating system"
  • "1,181 projects with a total gross square footage of 187,940,909 certified under LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance v2009 achieved a total of 4,051 points for Innovation in Operations credit one"
Industry Innovation
  • As mentioned, technology is key to the success of LEED and updates and are often a catalyst for the innovations and aims to transform the market
  • "The innovations: 
    • Renewable energy: solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling, renewable energy offsets 
    • Building automation systems (BAS) 
    • Net-zero/net-positive buildings 
    • LED light bulbs"
LEED has such continued success because of their commitment to technology and creating new practices. The key to their success appears to be in listening to the conversations their members are having about their updates and seeing what direction the industry is going. With skilled discussions and careful voting, the USGBC maintains the standards that all professionals strive. 

GreenEDU offers a variety of LEED prep courses. In order to be competitive in the green building field, becoming LEED certified is a great first step. As the LEED v4 training standards are release, GreenEDU can keep you and your certification updated. To learn more about our courses, visit our website