Locally yours: Improving LEED in East Asia | U.S. Green Building Council
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Posted in LEED

In the Haworth showroom in Parkview Green you immediately notice the colorful décor and cutting-edge workspace design that brings a unique experience at every turn. And after just a few minutes in the space, you also begin to realize that natural daylight is filling the showroom floor. But what you don’t see is that Haworth went the extra distance to make this showroom a leader in green interiors.

The Haworth showroom reused 60% of its interior elements, certified 93% of its furniture through GREENGUARD and exceeded fresh air requirements by 35%.

It is the first LEED v4 project to be certified anywhere in the world, and it’s in Beijing, China.

In recognition of this leadership, USGBC began working with practitioners in East Asia to improve LEED’s applicability at the local level. In fall 2013, USGBC met in Shanghai with East Asia members of the LEED International Roundtable GBPP, GBJ, Platinum and seed to discuss market and technical issues and barriers facing LEED projects in the region. As a result, a set of solutions has been developed and are now available for use.

The LEED 2009 BD+C Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs) for East Asia mark the first phase of LEED’s improvement for the region, and they focus specifically on air quality through recognizing local filtration standards. These ACPs are found in:

Regional Priority credits for LEED 2009 and LEED v4 have also been identified by members of the LEED International Roundtable which include additional points for achieving credits that address environmental priorities in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

Additionally, guidance related to the use of seawater for irrigation and plumbing has been developed to further clarify how LEED recognizes this common practice in parts of East Asia and a LEED Interpretation for addressing thermal comfort requirements for spaces that fall outside the scope of ASHRAE 55-2004 was also created. The Interpretation addresses spaces with open fire kitchens which are common in the region.

In light of the significant health and environmental concerns facing East Asia great strides have been made in green building. The result is a rapid increase in the development of resilient, healthy and efficient green buildings that serve as leaders in the market. Companies like Haworth and EMSI (who just celebrated their 100th LEED-certified project) are greatly influencing LEED’s growth in East Asia, which boasts over 28 million gross square meters of LEED-certified space, making it one of the top five largest regions for LEED in the world outside the U.S. Check out the LEED in Motion: Greater China to learn more.

USGBC is continuing to work to ensure the flexibility of the LEED green building rating system for East Asia and all markets. This summer, USGBC returned to East Asia to further engage with practitioners, educators and policy makers to determine how great projects like the Haworth Showroom at Parkview Green continue to raise the bar for the further expansion of LEED in the region. 

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