Taryn Holowka

The General Services Administration (GSA) has recently released its review of LEED v4, showing that the newest version of our green building rating system has significant alignment with federal sustainability and green building requirements.

In its report, Green Building Certification System: Supplemental Review of USGBC’S LEED v4 Systems, GSA finds that LEED is better aligned than ever with the federal sustainability requirements and reaffirms LEED as a consensus standard.

This initial evaluation of LEED v4 serves as an important first step in guiding federal agencies and departments in the use of the latest rating system to meet their goals. While the report indicates there isn’t direct alignment across every federal requirement, LEED v4 is uniquely situated to help accelerate the federal sector’s uptake of the best and leading strategies in green building.

GSA, under the Energy and Independence and Security Act of 2007, has initiated this evaluation of LEED v4 to stay current with the evolution of green building certification systems and determine alignment with various green building requirements contained in law or executive order [see GSA announcement here].

LEED has been an invaluable tool for the private sector and governments at all levels, helping thousands of building projects reduce energy, conserve water, reduce waste and save millions of dollars. In the past 14 years, LEED has established a tremendous track record of delivering the economic and environmental benefits of green building to hundreds of federal projects. Many federal agencies use LEED as a tool to drive measurable results and ensure accountability. For example, the Treasury building, a LEED Gold project, is saving American taxpayers more than $1 million a year from smart and integrated energy and water reduction strategies.

As with previous versions of LEED, USGBC is confident that LEED v4 will be able to help federal building projects achieve environmental goals and meet regulatory and statutory obligations—all while saving taxpayers money.

USGBC remains committed to making it easier for federal building projects to meet their green building goals and requirements. With LEED v4, which is more closely aligned with federal requirements than ever before, and GBCI's Guiding Principles Assessment, we are providing critical support and clarity to compliance pathways for federal agencies.

Moving forward, we look forward to engaging in the GSA’s process to seek external stakeholder input on the applicability of LEED v4 through a public listening session and a notice in the Federal Register later this year.