LEED is the world’s rating system for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. For the past 18 years, various versions of LEED have pushed the global green building market forward progressively, with more than 93,000 registered and certified projects and a total of 19.3 billion square feet of space used worldwide.
LEED v4 is the most rigorous green building rating system in the world. From improving energy performance to emphasizing human health and integrative building design, LEED v4 is encouraging project teams to operate beyond the status quo.
After the widespread success of LEED 2009, we wanted to raise the bar on the market. As green builders, it’s not just our job to be efficient with our construction and design, but to give the environment more than we receive.
But much like the world we live in, our ongoing commitments here at USGBC, particularly with LEED, are works in progress, constantly evolving with our goals and needs. And although we had the right idea with LEED v4, our excitement may have exceeded our execution.
Why LEED v4.1?
LEED v4 certification is underperforming where we know it can—and should—be going strong. Since 2013, we have seen 3,300 registrations and 400 projects certified under LEED v4 across the globe. Many of the credits and strategies introduced with LEED v4 New Construction have been a challenge for projects to implement, and thus have not met our expectations. At USGBC, we simply will not settle for less.
The fact is that we now live in a very different world than we did in 2009, when LEED v4 was first written, but we are encouraged that with LEED v4.1, a system updated for today’s market, so much more will be possible.
With the U.S. administration pulling back on promotion of energy efficiency and combating climate change, state and municipal governments, as well as leaders in the private sector, are stepping up with initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, expanding activities that impact human health and well-being and devising effective solutions to life-threatening challenges around the U.S. and the globe.
LEED v4.1 is our chance to lead the market on all of these fronts.
LEED’S new move
For the past nine months, Melissa Baker and her team, in partnership with Scot Horst, have been out there listening and learning, looking at what works and what doesn’t. Regions and markets move at different paces, and we want to be sure we can meet the needs of everyone in the green building community. That’s why we’ve been asking you for your feedback, your experiences, and your thoughts on how we can help better serve our members around the world.
On March 26, we will introduce LEED v4.1 as a series of upgrades that will improve our standards, encourage leadership and make our platform more user-friendly, more accessible—and most important—more collaborative than ever before.
This is not a full version change, but rather an incremental update to the LEED rating systems. LEED v4.1 will be our most inclusive and transparent platform to date. That’s because our most important requirement for adoption will come from our most valuable resource of all—you!
I am excited the very first rating system upgrade will be LEED v4.1 Operations and Maintenance, to support existing buildings and spaces.
Thank you for your commitment to our mission.