Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Selecting a LEED Rating System: USGBC Launches Interactive Tool for Guidance

This month, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) released a new, interactive tool called Discover LEED. Through a series of simple questions about your green building project, the program will help you pinpoint which LEED rating system is appropriate.

For example, users are asked to choose if their project is new or existing, residential or non-residential, and so on. Once a LEED rating system is determined, links are available to learn more about that particular rating system, or purchase the full LEED Rating System Reference Guide from USGBC.

Under LEED v4, which was launched in 2013, there are five green building rating systems, including Building Design & Construction (BD+C), Interior Design and Construction (ID+C), Building Operations & Maintenance (O+M), Homes, and Neighborhood Development.

LEED for Building Design and Construction
The focus of this rating system is on institutional, commercial, & large-scale residential projects that are new or undergoing a major renovation. The LEED v4 version of the rating system offers specific guidance for the following project types that fall under this category:
  • New Construction
  • Core and Shell
  • Data Centers
  • Hospitality
  • Schools
  • Warehouse & Distribution Centers
  • Retail
  • Healthcare
LEED for Interior Design and Construction
The LEED ID+C rating system is applicable for the design and construction of complete fit outs in commercial spaces, and is focused on providing high-performance, environmentally responsible, and productive spaces. The LEED v4 version of the rating system offers specific guidance for the following project types that fall under this category:
    • Commercial Interiors
    • Retail
    • Hospitality
    LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance 
    This rating system considers buildings over their entire life-cycle and provides a means of maintaining existing buildings that already have sustainable features in place to ensure the continued reduction of environmental impacts. Under LEED v4, this rating system offers guidance for improvement work on the following project types:
    • Existing Buildings
    • Data Centers
    • Schools
    • Warehouses & Distribution Centers
    • Retail
    • Hospitality
    LEED for Neighborhood Development 
    LEED for Neighborhood Development brings sustainable design and development to the neighborhood and community level. It applies to new or redevelopment projects made up of housing, non-residential purposes, or a mix. It provides guidance for both the planning stage, as well as construction.

    LEED for Homes
    This rating system guides the design and construction of high-performance homes. It encompasses single family homes, as well as low-rise and mid-rise multi-family units.

    Want to learn more about the LEED rating systems? Register for our 1-hour FREE Intro to LEED Certification Webinar!