Friday, January 23, 2015

New Social Equity LEED Credits

The goal of USGBC's LEED rating system is not only to construct energy efficient, environmentally-friendly buildings but to enhance the lives of all people in the buildings that receive LEED certification. In order to fulfill this goal, the USGBC has released new LEED credits that address social equity from the three perspectives of those impacted by the building including: the buildings construction workers, designers, engineers, as well as other team managers; the surrounding community; and the buildings materials supply chain. The new credit system is part of the LEED Pilot Credit Library which allows the USGBC to test and refine credits before they're brought into the rating system.

With the push for ongoing environmental justice, the USGBC added a new guiding principle to its 2013-2015 strategic plan known as Fostering Social Equity. The intention of the new principle is to create a greener economy, community, and quality of life.

The new LEED social equity credits consist of:
  • Social Equity within the Project Team: This credit encourages a project's owners, financiers, architects, engineers, and contractors to incorporate social equity into their daily activities.
  • Social Equity within the Community: This credit encourages a project team to address identified needs and disparities in the community surrounding the project.
  • Social Equity within the Supply Chain: This credit encourages social equity for those involved in the production of materials and products for our buildings, from raw materials extraction through final assembly.
The piloting of the new social equity credits will initially be available for construction projects seeking LEED for Building Design and Construction (BD+C) rating system. To further the social equity credits, the BD+C will be used to see how they can be improved and amended to fit with different building types and rating systems. In addition, the USGBC has consulted with international green building councils and LEED professionals to further develop the initiative for social equity. The continued push for green building and energy efficient design is being embraced in many parts of the construction industry and communities impacted by new buildings.

For more information regarding the social equity initiatives, visit the USGBC website

Interested in becoming LEED accredited? Be sure to check out Green Education Services for a full line-up of courses to help prepare you for the LEED Exam.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

RRP Lead Renovator Refresher Online Training - Just Around the Corner?

As the five year anniversary of the EPA's Lead Safe Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule approaches this April, many professionals are preparing to take their required 4-hour RRP Refresher training to renew their EPA Lead Renovator Certification, and re-certify their companies with the EPA.

Recently, the EPA announced that it was proposing a change to the RRP Ruling in regards to this refresher training requirement, presenting the possibility of removing the hands-on section of the refresher course. Currently, online RRP Refresher training is not approved by the EPA, but this action would potentially open the door for alternative learning formats.

From the EPA:
"On January 14, 2015, EPA proposed minor revisions to the RRP Program to improve the day-to-day function of the program by streamlining refresher training and clarifying language for training providers. The public has 30 days to submit commentson the rule. You can find information about the rule and a link to the Federal Register notice on EPA’s Lead Program website
EPA is proposing to eliminate the requirement that the renovator refresher training course have a hands-on component under the RRP program. Eliminating the hands-on requirement would give renovators easier access to trainings, saving them time and money and possibly resulting in a higher number of renovators taking the refresher course. EPA is also clarifying what constitutes a violation for training providers. In addition to these revisions, the Agency is requesting comment on extending the renovator recertification deadline until this rule can be finalized so more renovators can take advantage of the streamlined requirements for refresher training."

If the revisions are passed, students would theoretically be allowed to attend online training classes for the Lead Renovator Refresher class, rather than attending an in-person class for their recertification.

For now,  GreenEDU's network of trainers continue to provide top-notch initial and refresher Lead Renovator Training across the US. Visit www.GreenEDU.com to view our schedule and learn more.

Monday, January 5, 2015

LEED Exam Updates for February 2015

On Feb. 25, 2015, the LEED AP Neighborhood Development (ND) exam will begin featuring LEED v4 content and project experience assessment. The LEED AP Neighborhood Development exam is a four-hour test comprised of two parts: the two-hour LEED Green Associate exam and the two-hour LEED AP ND specialty exam. The two tests can be taken together in one sitting or separately. In June 2014, the USGBC had updated other exams such as the LEED Green Associate to reflect the new v4 rating system. The USGBC is committed to the continued advancement of innovative design and building and thus is reflected in the addition of the v4 content to the LEED exams.

Important dates to keep in mind if you are planning to take the LEED AP ND exam are as follows:

  • February 10, 2015: The last day to take the LEED AP ND exam with the LEED 2009 criteria
  • February 25, 2015: The first day to take the LEED AP ND exam with the new v4 criteria
  • February 11-24, 2015: No tests will be administered
For more information regarding the decision to add v4 content to the LEED AP ND exam as well as other LEED exams, visit the USGBC website. If you are interested in taking the LEED exam, visit Green Education Services for a full line up of LEED Prep courses.