The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released details of the regional credit system promised earlier as part of LEED 2009. The goal of regional credits is to encourage attention to specific regional environmental priorities in the design, construction and operations of buildings in different geographic locations.
“Because environmental priorities differ among various regions of the country—the challenges in the Southeast differ from those in the Northwest, for example—regionally specific credits give LEED a way to directly respond to diverse, regionally grounded issues,” said Brendan Owens, USGBC Vice President of Technical Development. “The inclusion of these regional LEED credits is the Council’s first step toward addressing regional environmental issues.”
Credits addressing six specific environmental issues within a region have been identified from among the existing LEED credits. In LEED 2009, LEED projects will be able to earn “bonus points” for implementing green building strategies that address the important environmental issues facing their region. A project can be awarded as many as four extra points—one point each for achieving up to four of the six priority credits.
LEED 2009 is one of three major components that make up LEED Version 3, the next version of the LEED green building certification program, which launched April 27. The changes to the LEED rating system reflect the rapid advancements in building science and technology and provide incentives for strategies that have greater positive impacts on energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reductions.
LEED v3 also includes a new version of LEED Online, the tool for managing the LEED registration and certification process; and a new building certification model administered by the Green Building Certification Institute. For more on LEED v3 or to download a region-by-region list of priority credits, visit www.usgbc.org/leed2009.