How Can Building Product Manufacturers Improve LEED v4.1?

Posted On: 
Jul 23, 2019
How Can Building Product Manufacturers Improve LEED v4.1?

Building products play a crucial role in the LEED ratings system. The Materials & Resources (MR) credit category focuses on minimizing the embodied energy and other impacts associated with the extraction, processing, transport, maintenance, and disposal of building materials. How can building product manufacturers shape and improve future versions of LEED? Let’s find out . . .

On July 9th, the USGBC announced a call for proposals to receive feedback and concepts for LEED v4.1.USGBC has released LEED v4.1 beta versions that reduce carbon emissions, energy, water use and waste, and improve the health and well-being of the people who live and work in the buildings. The USGBC wants to solicit ideas, proposals and feedback for improving LEED v4.1.

Building product manufacturers have a lot to gain by being involved on this exciting process. In a previous blog, How LEED v4.1 Could Affect Building Product Manufacturers, we discussed the benefits and opportunities that exist in the proposed update to the LEED rating system. Product manufacturers have the opportunity to contribute additional points via third party verified Health Product Declarations (HPDs) . In addition, several MR credits have easier thresholds to meet.

LEED Development Process

Updating to a new version of LEED is a multi-step process. It can take years and involve countless volunteers and members. The first step involves outlining goals to the LEED Steering Committee for approval. Next, the USGBC and a host of volunteers propose improvements for LEED certification. Eventually, a beta version is released in the AEC community so feedback can be obtained about its real-world applications.

Stakeholders can submit their ideas for LEED which are reviewed by the Steering Committee. During this phase of development, a public comment period is held for both USGBC and non-USGBC members. This is an excellent time for building product manufacturers to submit comments about the beta version. Finally, once a draft has been approved by the LEED Steering Committee and USGBC Board of Directors, it is voted on by the USGBC membership. As we can see, there are multiple opportunities for product manufacturers to become involved in the LEED development process.

Call For Proposals

The new call for proposals was launched July 9th. Building product manufacturers wanting to improve LEED are encouraged to submit a proposal. Proposals submitted by September 13th may be highlighted in the Future of LEED education session at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Atlanta. Building product manufacturers who plan on submitting a proposal to the USGBC should meet these requirements.

• Proposals shall be expressed in terms of actual edits to the existing LEED language using tools provided by USGBC. Multiple proposals for change from the same person/organization for each LEED credit are permitted.

• Proposals for change must be specific.

• The rationale and technical justification for each proposal for change must be provided and must be technical in nature.

In addition, building product manufacturers are encouraged to specify what LEED ratings system their submission is for and the applicable credits. Does your company plan on submitting a proposal for LEED v4.1? What would you like changed in the next version of LEED?

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