USGBC Announces Extension of LEED 2009 | U.S. Green Building Council
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Updated November 18, 2014

Extension offers the green building industry additional time to prepare for the newest version of LEED

WASHINGTON, DC (Oct. 29, 2014) – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced today that it will allow LEED users to register projects under the LEED 2009 rating system until Oct. 31, 2016. The original date for LEED 2009 registration to close was June 27, 2015. Extending to October 2016 gives LEED users and members of the green building industry additional time to prepare for LEED v4, the latest version of LEED, which features increased rigor and multiple updates. While the registration date has been extended, the last day projects can submit for certification, also called the sunset date, remains the same: June 30, 2021. The decision to keep the sunset date in 2021 was voted and approved by the LEED Steering Committee.  

“When USGBC launched LEED v4 last year, we set out with one goal in mind – to raise the bar in a way that challenges the building industry to reach higher than ever before. This is our nature and USGBC and its members’ collective mission,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO & founding chair, USGBC. “However, the market has requested additional time to prepare for LEED v4, so we are responding.”

In a survey conducted at last week’s Greenbuild conference, 61 percent of respondents said they are “not ready” or “unsure” if they are ready to pursue LEED v4 and require additional time to prepare. Extending LEED 2009’s availability enables USGBC to work with the broader industry within a longer time frame to drive meaningful and comprehensive change.

“Our international LEED users, which account for some 50 percent of new LEED registrations, have also indicated they would like to have more time to move onto the new rating system,” Fedrizzi noted.  “This extension will be especially helpful to them.”

LEED v4 has been in the market for nearly one year and will remain available for those market leaders who are ready. 

“LEED v4 wasn’t designed to be easy. It is the next generation of green building, and we are confident the market will meet us there as they have in years past,” added Fedrizzi. “When USGBC first pilot tested LEED in 1998, there weren’t many buildings that could qualify for LEED certification at the Platinum level. Now, more than 1,000 buildings have achieved it. With LEED, we have a responsibility to set a high bar and we know that many leaders are capable of reaching it, presently or in the very near future. We want to support our LEED users as they move the market forward with us, and allowing them to utilize the LEED 2009 rating system for a little longer will help facilitate that.”

 “USGBC continues to develop new resources that support the market’s adoption of LEED,” added Fedrizzi. “The LEED Dynamic Plaque provides a vivid, real-time visualization of building performance data spanning water, energy, occupant satisfaction and more, giving building owners critical insight into how their building is performing. Every day, LEED is contributing to scores of new, innovative building technologies in the design, manufacturing and construction process, and has brought new, healthier building materials to market.   

LEED has facilitated spectacular advances in building technologies, integrated design and operating practices. LEED is also largely responsible for the explosive growth of the green building sector, which supports or creates 7.9 million jobs across all 50 states and contributes $554 billion to the U.S. economy annually.

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Total 22 commentsLeave a comment

LEED AP: BD+C, Green Globe USA
The problem is even the companies who boast of providing education to the potential green specialists in various AP exams are not ready yet. What they provide is not good enough to take a test. I am waiting for some company who can provide exam prep materials and sample tests for LEED AP Homes and nobody is ready. All talk of GA and LEED AP BD+C only. If anybody knows who can help me in LEED AP Homes, please let me know. My email address is Upendra Sabat LEED AP BD+C (V4) LEED AP ND (V4)
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Upendra Sabat, Thank you for your interest in the LEED AP Homes Credential. Our education Partners are working on study materials for the new exam. Currently the best place to start studying for the Homes exam is to become familiar with all of the resources listed at the end of the Candidate Handbook:
I thought it was very interesting reading some of the comments posted particularly from Michael and Jodi. Obviously you have not worked in the manufacturing field. If you have you would know of the immense cost of both time and money to switch from the 2009 version to V4. Manufacturer's even small companies may have dozens if not hundreds of products who in turn have to submit all of these to one of the three or four testing agencies. The cost and time is astronomical, and that is why you are seeing the 61% push back. There are such things as budgets, and unfortunately LEED updates is not always put at the top. That is why more time is truly needed. I truly believe that everyone wants to do there part, but there is no possible way that it could have been completed in the next 8 months. "Lets be realistic" You can talk about lack of support and taking a step back, but the truth of the matter is that this gives manufacturer's the time to digest, budget, and plan for this. As far as the test, I have no idea how someone went off on that tangent, but pushing the deadline was a call that needed to be made to not alienate product manufacturer's both here and abroad. I will not go into changing the 500 mile radius to 100 mile, but this has hurt manufacturer's and Architect's alike and should seriously be looked at to be amended back to its original status.
Past (2012) NY Upstate Chapter Chair, Past CSC, and Director of Sustainability Programs, DASNY
Sorry for the massive delay in responding. The reason transitioning works is because none of the prerequisite credits are the ones causing angst. Only the "new" approaches to materials and other credits, all options within a complex system, are driving market change. Nothing in adopting LEEDv4 will kill business, and the entire point of LEED ratings is to continually stretch and move us all forward. Change sucks. Change is desperately needed. LEED points to change and pushes us onto the path but does not demand we get there immediately.
Director of Sustainable Education, GreenCE, Inc.
"Whenever people say we mustn't be sentimental, you can take it they are about to do something cruel. And if they add, we must be realistic, it means they are going to make money out of it." - Brigid Brophy, British writer
President & CEO, e4, inc.
Wow. I am frankly baffled at the lack of support for what I believe was a very wise decision on the part of the USGBC. If LEED wants to maintain its relevance to the broad real estate market not just the leaders who have embraced green building, it needed to slow down. I fully support the decision and feel it was critical to ensure that LEED continues to transform the broader marketplace and not just become a leadership recognition tool for the already committed.
Director of Sustainability, 3form
This is a very disappointing decision, from my perspective as Sustainability Director representing a materials manufacturer. When USGBC voted to implement V4 standards by June 2015, those manufacturers that decided to comply quickly scrambled to understand V4's revised credits mechanisms, then invested significant financial resources to be ready to meet client needs. While LEED V4 seemed prematurely released, we nevertheless felt it important to show support, as well as to be ready on schedule. This move to delay by USGBC essentially strips value from those efforts and investments. While it is reasonable to heed perceived market forces, it is also reasonable to expect USGBC to maintain course when they make mandates that have great expense to manufacturers. While it must have been a difficult decision by USGBC's leadership, it certainly seems like a wrong direction to make deadlines so whimsical.
Past (2012) NY Upstate Chapter Chair, Past CSC, and Director of Sustainability Programs, DASNY
Wow, totally frustrated with this decision. We've worked as a Chapter to promote LEEDv4, to make sure our constituents are ready, or at least not panicking. Again, I feel like we've gone down a path knowing where we need to go, then the direction is changed without our input. I do understand that member companies have said they are not ready. Everyone always more time for a change. Birds are not ready to fly without a nudge! And we don't have more time. USGBC used to be one of the large organizations that truly understood that. There will be no money savings in waiting and people won't "do" until they have to.
Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Advocacy, U.S. Green Building Council
Hello, USGBC is not planning to open the old exam. The current exams will prepare test takers for not only LEED v4 projects but also for LEED 2009 projects. The LEED credentials that are available today demonstrate advanced knowledge in green building as well as expertise in LEED.
Director of Sustainable Education, GreenCE, Inc.
In regards to the credentialing exams, I have heard assurances from USGBC that it will remain aligned to LEED v4.
Construction & Installations Director, ThermaCote, Inc.
With the extension of LEED 2009, will the current LEED GA and AP tests still cover version 4 material instead of 2009 material?
Project Manager, Education Platforms, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Saher, Thanks for checking. This extension will not impact the content of the exams. The information in this article remains correct.
Owner, LEED Consultant, C-Wise Design & Consulting Services
The ambition of the USGBC is to transform the marketplace. LEED has transformed the marketplace, but the marketplace has largely caught up with version 3. It is time to move to v4, to challenge the marketplace, not wait for it. I'm not ready for v4 because I don't need to be. My plan was to study v4 in earnest in spring 2015. Why do today what I can put off till tomorrow? We need to be pushed, to be challenged. The USGBC proclaims it is a consensus based member organization. Today, I find that difficult to believe. This is the wrong call and I know I had no part in making it.
Past (2012) NY Upstate Chapter Chair, Past CSC, and Director of Sustainability Programs, DASNY
Thank you. You nailed it.
Energy Modeler, Integral Group
With the extension of LEED 2009, will the current LEED GA and AP tests still cover version 4 material instead of 2009 material?
The LEED exams are unaffected by the LEED 2009 rating system extension. The LEED Green Associate, LEED AP BD+C, LEED AP ID+C, and LEED AP O+M exams will continue to feature LEED V4 content. The LEED AP Homes and LEED AP ND are scheduled to feature LEED V4 content summer of 2015.
Energy Modeler, Integral Group
Thanks, Karinn! Those tests are featuring LEEDv4 content only- not a mixture of v4 and v2009, correct?
Project Manager, Education Platforms, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Anna, Thanks for checking. This extension will not impact the content of the exams. The information in this article remains correct.
Commissioning Provider, BVH Integrated Services, P.C.
How is it that so many companies are still not ready for LEED v4? It is more difficult, but it's not as though everyone is starting from scratch. So many people are demanding certification for their buildings; this should be treated more like building code than the cherry on top. I wonder if the number of "not ready" or "unsure" parties will even drop below 50% come October of 2016...
Newcomb & Boyd
The effort, commitment and cost to achieved certification under V4 is significantly greater than that required for LEED 2009. It is not clear how a further delay in implementation will help the building community “prepare.” I suspect with this higher bar many organizations will decide it is too difficult and not pursue official certification and will instead design and construct facilities to select cherry picked LEED principals that do not require the additional effort and cost Certainly though for those who choose to pursuit and submit for V4 certification the boundary of sustainable design and construction will be pushed forward.
Sustainability Director, Growing Green Buildings
Pro Reviewer
I'm guessing that LEED v5 will be well under development by the new 2016 date. As sustainable building advocates, at what point do we believe it's our responsibility to set the bar higher for those who wish to achieve certification, helping keep the prestige of a LEED certification while encouraging further trouble making. I wonder if the 61% of those who are not ready for v4 say so because they honestly couldn't meet v4 Certified level or because it would be difficult, as it should be, to achieve the higher Silver, Gold, or Platinum v4 level. I know development is a lengthy process but LEED v4 will now have been available for three years before it is required and it was well known that it was coming for even longer than that. What do you think?
Director of Sustainable Education, GreenCE, Inc.
I believe we must act with purpose and urgency to avoid the worst-case scenario from climate disruption. This delay does not embody our need for urgency.

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