All LEED Doors Open for DOD


The U.S. Green Building Council has won a major victory with the signing of a new bill that lifts two-year-old restrictions on the LEED rating system for Department of Defense projects.

The DOD—which operates several hundred thousand buildings and structures at more than 5,000 locations—is no longer limited in pursuing LEED Gold- or Platinum-level certification for its buildings and renovations under the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2014.

President Obama signed the act, removing the restriction, at the end of December.

Certification Levels and Limits

The limit on the two highest certification levels in the LEED program was first imposed in 2012, when section 2830(b)(1) noted, “No funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2012 may be obligated or expended for achieving any LEED gold or platinum certification.”

The story was the same for the act in fiscal 2013.

During that time, the Air Force, Marines, Army, Navy and other DOD operations built to LEED Silver (as required), with some exceptions when the Gold or Platinum level could be achieved without additional cost, according to Ecobuilding Pulse.

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Last November, the DOD modified its policy to approve the use of both Green Globes and LEED as third-party certification systems for military buildings.

The USGBC and LEED supporters welcomed the change in the new bill, which authorizes some $632.8 billion for the Pentagon and defense-related programs. The USGBC announced the authorization on its blog.

Another Green Player

While the levels of certification are all clear for LEED, there’s no guarantee that the DOD will continue to use the system to meet its mission and portfolio needs.

USGBC will have to compete with the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes rating system when it comes to the DOD and many other federal agencies.

In November, the DOD modified its policy to approve the use of both Green Globes and LEED as acceptable third-party certification systems for military buildings. The adjustment followed the General Services Administration’s recommendation that agencies use one of the two systems.

GBI promotes the Green Globes system as an affordable alternative to LEED.


Tagged categories: Certifications and standards; Color + Design; Department of Defense (DOD); Government; Green building; Green Globes; LEED

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