3 Ways To Get Your Building Products Specified On LEED v4.1 Projects

Posted On: 
Aug 12, 2019
3 Ways To Get Your Building Products Specified On LEED v4.1 Projects

Currently, LEED v4.1 is being tested as a beta ratings system in the AEC industry. Project teams have the ability to test the LEED v4.1 beta system and offer feedback to the USGBC. Although, there is no official release date for the final version of LEED v4.1, we can examine three factors that will impact building product specification upon its release.

LEED v4.1 Product Documentation

One of the most critical tools a building product manufacturer has at their disposal to be considered for LEED v4.1 specification is product documentation. There are multiple certifications, declarations, and testing data that are used in LEED v4 that will be updated for the next LEED ratings system.

Materials and Resources LEED credits have been overhauled and product manufacturers have opportunities to contribute additional points via Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), Health Product Declarations (HPDs), and other life-cycle documentation. HPDs provide the most bang for the buck for product manufacturers due to the cost and resources involved with many EPD projects.

In a previous blog, How LEED v4.1 Could Affect Building Product Manufacturers, we discussed the major changes being recommended for the LEED v4.1 BD+C ratings system. HPDs are the primary product disclosure to meet LEED v4.1 BD+C MR: Building Product Disclosure and Optimization - Material Ingredients. HPDs are budget-friendly, less complicated and time consuming for product manufacturers to develop than alternative compliance options for the credit. The major change for Option 1 for this credit is the addition of half a point (.5) for any compliant documentation with third-party verification of content inventory.

Therefore, it’s a no-brainer for building product manufacturers to develop an HPD and also consider third party verification to contribute the additional half a point. Also, building product manufacturers have a much greater success rate at specification if their LEED product documentation is up to date. Surprisingly, there are still manufacturers with LEED v2 product data on their websites. Project teams will need to review current LEED data for projects and manufacturers should update their websites and technical sheets as soon as LEED v4.1 has been officially launched.

Continuing Education Course

Product manufacturers that only develop AIA HSW courses should also consider adding LEED content to their courses. The product manufacturers that are getting specified for LEED v4 projects typically have excellent websites and resources explaining their product’s LEED contributions.

Updating your AIA courses to reflect the changes in LEED v4.1 will be important to stay ahead of your competitors. Free LEED online courses provide an excellent opportunity for your company to illustrate your commit to green building and sustainability. LEED APs and LEED Green Associates need mandatory CE hours to maintain their credential. By offering them free GBCI courses about your product technology, you have a much greater chance of getting specified.

Product Rep Training

Many larger companies have done an excellent job training one or more employees to be a sustainability champion. This employee typically obtains a LEED credential, has been educated how their product integrates with LEED, and can speak the “sustainability” language with LEED project teams.

There are still many medium sized and smaller sized product manufacturers that are confused and bewildered about LEED. Their websites contain outdated information and sometimes even greenwashing about their product’s contributions to LEED. These manufacturers have been left in the dust as their competitors get the big LEED projects and praise.

The good news is that there is a no-cost option to train building product manufacturers about LEED. GreenCE launched the only free LEED Exam prep program in the country. Instead of spending thousands of dollars educating product reps in classrooms around the country, a no-cost online alternative can teach your employees the basics of LEED whether they are taking the exam or simply need an overview of how LEED works.

When LEED v4.1 launches, there will be several LEED v4.1 exam prep training courses available. Manufacturers are encouraged to enroll their team members in LEED v4.1 exam prep classes when they become available so that they are educated about the many updates and changes for the new LEED system. How is your company preparing for LEED v4.1?

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please call Brad Blank at 360-727-3528.