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New Credits Introduced Into LEED Pilot Credit Library

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The U.S. Green Building Council’s next update to the LEED green-building program, LEED 2012, will include various updates to credits within the LEED Pilot Credit Library. As a flexible, interactive mechanism for testing proposed credits in the marketplace, the Pilot Credit Library gathers real-time feedback on credit usability and ability to meet a credit's intent.

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The Pilot Credit Library was established to facilitate the introduction of new prerequisites and credits to LEED through stakeholder engagement and collaboration on the testing and analysis of proposed requirements. This process allows USGBC to refine credits through LEED project evaluations before being introduced into LEED.

“The LEED Pilot Credit Library has been widely embraced by LEED users and has successfully created a forum for discussing the strengths and weaknesses of new and innovative credits,” said Brendan Owens, vice president, LEED Technical Development. “The LEED-user community has actively engaged in pilot testing the existing credits and these new and updated credits incorporate their valuable feedback and help make LEED more dynamic and effective.”

LEED 2012 is the next step towards a global, performance-based application. The current LEED 2012 draft focuses on increasing the technical rigor of the rating system, improving the user experience and providing measurement and performance tools.

“As part of the larger evolution of the Materials & Resources credit category, the new pilot credits shift focus towards a more integrated decision making framework based on life cycle assessment,” continued Owens. “When considered as an integrated system, the credits encourage actions that move us towards a products universe focused on transparency and multi-attribute life cycle optimization.”

Under the heading of Materials & Resources, Pilot Credits 2 and 11 will combine to form a more encompassing chemical avoidance credit. Pilot Credit 54: Avoidance of Chemicals of Concern in Building Materials, encourages LEED project teams to avoid building materials that contain chemicals known to negatively impact human health, specifically in regard to cancer and reproductive toxicity.

In addition to these two credits becoming one, an additional credit will be added—Disclosure of Chemicals of Concern (Pilot Credit 62)—that addresses product transparency. Both newly added pilot credits, 54 and 62, will progress to LEED 2012. A pilot credit that addresses alternatives assessments is under development.

Another notable change within MR is a pilot credit split to more directly address product transparency and performance. Pilot Credit 43 is now divided into two credits—Pilot Credit 61: Material Disclosure and Assessment, and Pilot Credit 52: Material Multi-Attribute Assessment.

A new Energy Jumpstart concept under the Energy & Atmosphere heading addresses the huge opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and building operational expenses by reaching the 75% of the market that the Existing Buildings’ energy-performance prerequisite excludes.

“The pilot credit creates an on-ramp for these buildings and we hope to use it to engage project teams and building owners who demonstrate leadership by drastically improving the energy performance of their buildings,” said Owens.

Pilot Credit 67: Energy & Atmosphere Prerequisite 2 Alternative Compliance Path—or Energy Jumpstart—rewards significant improvement in building-energy performance. It enables projects that have documented substantial energy performance improvement to satisfy the requirements of the Energy & Atmosphere Prerequisite 2: Minimum Energy Efficiency Performance and pursue LEED at the Certified level.

Ten additional pilot credits have been introduced into the library, which currently contains 36 credits, exploring everything from the life cycle assessment of building assemblies to bird collision deterrence.

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