What has changed in the Regional Priority (RP) credits from LEED 2009 to LEED v4?
The main difference in RP credits between LEED 2009 and LEED v4 is in how the RP credit zones were created. In LEED 2009, RP credit zones were identified by U.S. ZIP Code. This system led to numerous problems for project teams, as ZIP codes are prone to changing when an area’s population grows or shrinks. Additionally, this system was somewhat arbitrary, as it did not use any empirical data to determine where environmental issues did or did not occur. Finally, projects outside the U.S. were not able to identify RP credits using this system. Instead international projects had to use a generic set of credits that did not necessarily address issues occurring in that country.
The RP credit zones in LEED v4 were created using a Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based program that allowed for environmental issues to be empirically mapped. This process created RP credit zones that are more robust and not solely based on physical location. The GIS-based zones do not have to be geographically adjacent, meaning that ZIP code can no longer be used to identify a project’s RP credits. Instead, the project’s physical coordinates (X, Y) need to be entered to accurately identify RP credits.
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