New LEED BD+C 2009 ACPs released for Europe
In February 2014, USGBC contacted Sweden Green Building Council (SGBC) and other European members of the LEED International Roundtable to introduce a work project to create Europe-specific Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs) for LEED BD+C 2009.
This was something that SGBC could really get behind: At that time, we had over 50 ongoing projects using LEED BD+C 2009. This presented a significant opportunity to define guidance that could smooth the path to certification over the coming years.
While our main mandate at SGBC is to support our members in Sweden, we are also part of the broader European network. Europe has long been a global leader in green building design and construction. In fact, guidance on certain LEED criteria has its roots in European practice, such as waste-to-energy in the LEED v4 construction waste management credit. This has suggested the possibility of aligning other European methods with the requirements of LEED.
At SGBC we are always working with our members to identify issues and define solutions to make LEED both practical and relevant in our country. In the past, SGBC has developed Sweden-specific solutions on an as-needed basis, such as the Scandinavian DES Guidance (whose methodology has since been made available for projects Europe-wide via a LEED Interpretation). So for us, the Europe BD+C ACP project was an opportunity to progress some of these challenges and solutions through a more formal process, as well as a means to garner feedback from our European colleagues on how we could transform Swedish approaches into broader regional solutions.
Projects like the LEED 2009 BD+C ACPs for Europe have the potential to bring individuals and groups together to share challenges, perspectives and ideas. They enable us to progress faster and more effectively as a group than if we were working on our own, and to reduce redundant efforts rather than individually trying to reinvent the wheel. Moving forward, we’re hopeful that this process will foster increased collaboration between the European members of the LEED International Roundtable and that we will continue to share what we have “on the boards”.
With the official release of the LEED 2009 BD+C ACPs for Europe, we have in hand new solutions tailored for the European market. But the importance of this regional ACPs project goes beyond technical implementation. By engaging local practitioners in the very language of LEED, we now have our fingerprints on the system: the solutions bear evidence of our opinions and expertise in Europe.
It’s hard to understate the value in this for professionals that have committed to implementing LEED in an international context. It’s also a tremendous benefit for the bigger picture of LEED when those users feel an increased sense of ownership of the system. LEED sits among many certification systems in a complex European market. Projects like the LEED 2009 BD+C ACPs for Europe give local LEED users—each one of whom is an advocate for the LEED rating systems—a reference point for how LEED is adapting to become more locally relevant.