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Construction Law Authority / Building Codes  / New Version of LEED Rating System May Be Coming Soon

New Version of LEED Rating System May Be Coming Soon

The U.S. Green Building Council’s long awaited updates to the LEED Rating System are almost complete. LEED v4 has been in the works for more than a year. The likely final public comment period for the new rating system ends on March 31st, and voting on the changes is scheduled to begin June 1st.

There are some significant changes in LEED v4. It will include a new credit category, Location and Transportation.   As the name suggests it focuses in part on location of buildings and connectivity to them. Some of the credits in this category, such as bicycle storage, reduced parking capacity and low-emitting vehicles are already part of the existing Sustainable Sites category, so they are just being moved. Speaking of which, a new credit for rainwater management has been added to the Sustainable Sites category in LEED V4, which will be an opportunity to earn points for capturing, treating and controlling on-site runoff.

There are some significant changes in the Water Efficiency category. There will be three prerequisites: Outdoor Water Use Reduction (applicable to projects with exterior vegetated areas); Indoor Water Use Reduction (like the former "Water Use Reduction" prerequisite, it requires 20% water use reduction, and will also require a WaterSense label for certain fixtures and fittings); and Building Level Water Metering (applicable to all projects, it calls for permanent water meters to measure usage, and the data must be shared with the USGBC for 5 years). There are also new credits for Cooling Tower Use and Water Metering.

The Innovation in Design category had required a project principal be certified as a LEED AP. LEED v4 will require the LEED AP to have a specialty most appropriate for the project. Also, the Indoor Environmental Quality category’s three prerequisites have been modified. For example, the Minimum Indoor Air Quality Performance now addresses radon-resistant construction for projects containing residential units. The tobacco prerequisite now prohibits smoking on school grounds entirely, not just inside buildings and within 25 feet of building entries.

 

There are several other additions and changes in LEED v4 which will affect numerous types of buildings. For the complete list, check out http://new.usgbc.org/v4.

Mark J. Stempler

Mark Stempler

mstempler@bplegal.com

Mr. Stempler focuses his practice in the areas of construction litigation, government bid protests, and civil litigation. He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Construction Law, and is certified as a LEED Green Associate by the United States Green Building Council. He represents clients in commercial and residential construction lawsuits, involving defects, delays, contractual disputes, mold claims, liens and lien disputes, bond claims, and insurance disputes. Clients include owners, developers, general contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, sureties, and manufacturers.

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