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!

    Monday, November 10, 2014

    Renewing Your Lead Safe Renovator Certification: A Breakdown of EPA and State Requirements

    EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 have their firm certified by EPA (or an EPA authorized state), use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices. The initial training is a 1-day course, and a 4-hour refresher course is required every five years. Since the EPA law was enacted in April 2010, many professionals are reaching the five year mark for their renewal. Below is more information on the requirements to stay in compliance.

    EPA Lead Renovator Renewal Requirements

    To re-certify as an EPA Lead Renovator and EPA Lead-Safe Firm:
    • Attend a 4-hour Refresher course within 5 years from the initial course date
    • Submit a firm application and $300 company re-certification fee to the EPA every 5 years*
    It is recommended that you submit your EPA Firm Re-certification Application at least 90 days in advance of your expiration date to avoid any gaps in your firm certification. You can complete this application online for faster processing.

    **UPDATED APRIL 2015: The EPA has issued an extension for some Certified Lead Renovators to complete the 4-hour refresher training.  If the initial course was take prior to March 31, 2010, the refresher training must be completed by March 31, 2016. If the initial training was completed between April 1, 2010 - March 31, 2011, individuals have a one year grace period to take the refresher course, based on their original expiration date. There is NO extension for EPA firm re-certification.

    EPA-Authorized State Programs

    Thirteen states operate under their own lead safe certification program in lieu of the EPA federal
    program, and therefore have different renewal requirements.

    Below is a list of these EPA-Authorized States and the renewal requirements for each:

    EPA-Authorized State Individual Training Renewal Period Individual Renewal Fee Company Renewal Period Company Renewal Fee Refresher
    Training Schedule
    Alabama 3 Years $100 Annual Fee Annually $300 View Courses
    Delaware 2 Years $100 Fee Every 2 Years 2 Years $100 View Courses
    Georgia 3 Years $150 Fee Every 3 Years 1 Year or 3 Years $125 for 1 Year, or $300 for 3 Years View Courses
    Iowa 3 Years $60 Annual Fee Registration Required No fee View Courses
    Kansas 5 Years Registration Required, No Fee 5 Years $100 for Renewal ($200 for Initial) View Courses
    Massachusetts 5 Years** No Fee 5 Years $375 View Courses
    Mississippi 3 Years 1st & 2nd Renovator at the company are free, $75pp annually after. Annually $350 View Courses
    North Carolina 5 Years Registration Required, No Fee Annually $300 View Courses
    Oklahoma 5 Years No Fee 5 Years $300 View Courses
    Oregon 5 Years No Fee 5 Years $50 - $250 View Courses
    Rhode Island 5 Years $40 Every 5 Years 5 Years $40 View Courses
    Utah 5 Years $200 Annual Fee Annually $250 View Courses
    Washington 5 Years* $25 Every 3 Years 5 Years $25 View Courses
    Wisconsin 4 Years $50 Every 2 Years 2 Years $50 View Courses
    *State recognizes EPA extension for renewal.
    **State allows a 1-year grace period from your training expiration date, but no RRP work may be performed until re-trained and re-certified.

    For more information on renewing your Lead Renovator Certification, visit https://www.greenedu.com/epa-lead-paint-rrp-refresher-overview. For a full line-up of RRP initial and refresher courses, be sure to visit GreenEdu.com.