Ara Massey, LEED AP BD+C
Sustainable Design Manager
SLATERPAULL recently attended the 2013 US Green Building Council’s International Conference and Expo, Greenbuild in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania . Some notable highlights are below:
LEED Proven Providers Program: This USGBC program announced at this year’s Greenbuild helps LEED administrators differentiate quality. The Proven Provider Program is designed to streamline the LEED project review process and to recognize and reward organizations that demonstrate excellence in their role as LEED Project Team Administrator. Program participants noted some reviews were taking as little as 10 business days!
LEED v4: Many sessions and discussions focused on the new LEED rating system, version 4, that was released at the conference. While the rating system still focuses on the same credit categories as previous versions much has been retooled in order to raise the bar. V4 focuses on performance and has re-weighted the credits to align with the new system goals: 35% of credits weighted toward climate change; 20% for human health, 15% for water resources, 10% for biodiversity, 10% for green economy, 5% for community and 5% for natural resources. Much debate has centered around the stringent requirements of v4 but Scott Horst, head of LEED, answered by quoting Henry Ford when he said “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. Should our reach not exceed our grasp? Yes, yes it should.
Green Schools Investment: Rachel Gutter, Director of USGBC’s The Center for Green Schools, announced that a new Government Accountability Office study on the condition of American’s School Facilities has been commissioned starting in December 2013. The last such study was performed in 1995 and resulted in increased funding, both federally and locally, for schools. As Rachel noted, sometimes the biggest hurdle to progress is awareness.
LEED Dynamic Plaque: Scott Horst, USGBC’s senior vice president for LEED, unveiled the new dynamic LEED plaque. The plaque acts as a performance dashboard that monitors how well the LEED building performs over time. The plaque is in beta testing now at USGBC headquarters and Scott noted that although it shows the building has slipped from the initial Platinum rating it also shows how they can regain and maintain the elite rating. SLATERPAULL Architects is eagerly awaiting full release of the new plaque and hopes to have one in our own headquarters soon!