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LEED Must Address Climate Change by Updating - Team Submits "LEEDing on Climate Change" Proposal for Upgrading LEED 4.1

YijunW CA, United States 0 Ratings 53 Discussions 0 Group posts

Posted by: YijunW


Development of LEED started in 1993 by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Over the past 20 years, LEED has become the dominant green building design standard in the US and arguably the the world, adding over 2 million square feet of certified space per day and counting over 200,000 trained LEED accredited professionals. Clearly, the certification has had a significant role in reducing the impact of the built environment and more recently, on occupant health.

However, according to Greg Kats and others and as published by GreenBiz, "LEED has failed to maintain a carbon leadership role in a world of accelerating climate change and fossil-fuel-funded denial." Currently, most buildings that received LEED Silver, Gold, and Platinum rating only deliver 15 or 20 percent reduction in energy use and carbon dioxide emission, at a time when the price of lower and no cost options to cut carbon are becoming more available (in other words, there isn't a cost-based excuse). In a piece published by GreenBiz, Kats argues that this current LEED carbon dioxide achievement is not a material step toward decarbonization. Buildings account for 39% of CO2 emissions in the United States (USGBC) and the LEED standard needs an upgrade to match with its high-performance green buildings leadership role.

Along with Kevin Hydes of the Integral Group, Emma Stewart of WRI, and Mary Ann Lazarus of the Cameron MacAllister Group, Greg Kats drafted a proposal titled "LEEDing on Climate Change," for adoption in the current LEED V4.1 upgrade process. The proposal would enable LEED to take a leadership role on climate change. More than 150 longtime green building leaders including David Gottfried, founder of both the USGBC and World Green Building Council, and LEED founder Rob Watson have signed the proposal, and it has also apparently been endorsed by groups including National Grid, Amalgamated Bank and HOK. Top strategies include on and off site renewable energy strategies, and energy efficiency steps to reduce CO2 use, including LED lighting.

According to Kats, "LEED immediately should be revised to require substantial minimum carbon reductions for each level of LEED certification, both for new LEED buildings and for LEED rating renewals," or risk becoming irrelevant in the fight to mitigate climate change.

To read more, please visits the following sites:

Greg Kats
Business wire
Ayda Ayoubi
USGBC report



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