Originally published by our friends at the Canada Green Building Council.
As a movement and an industry, green building is evolving rapidly. Recognizing leadership in this field means periodically moving the goal posts, and rethinking the measures by which leadership is assessed. That’s the reason for LEED Version 4, the next exciting step in the continuous improvement of the LEED rating systems.
The development of LEED v4 has spanned more than three years, engaged hundreds of volunteers and thousands of stakeholders around the world. LEED v4 has the potential to drive the reduction of building carbon emissions and take a stronger stand on human health, more so than any previous version of LEED.
Technical Updates and New Market Sectors
Guided by a set of goals for what LEED projects should accomplish, LEED v4 includes a comprehensive technical update to the rating system requirements. While some aspects remain familiar, others incorporate important, fundamental revisions. Materials, for example, are evaluated more holistically using multiple attributes through approaches such as Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Product Declarations. There is a greater emphasis on performance, as reflected in water and energy metering requirements, while integrative design, envelope commissioning, and acoustics are some of the new issues addressed within LEED v4.
Projects now use the LEED rating system on a wider variety of project types than ever before. From stadiums to convention centers, commercial offices to hospitals, each space type has unique needs and challenges when using LEED. LEED v4 addresses 21 different market sector adaptations, including new and existing data centers, new and existing warehouse and distribution centers, hospitality, existing schools, existing retail, and multifamily midrise. To view the rating systems as well as summaries of the changes relative to v2009, check-out our LEED v4 Resources.LEED v4 in Canada
What does LEED v4 mean to Canadian project teams? Fundamentally, better environmental outcomes and a better user experience.
In an effort to increase the range of LEED resources for Canadians and follow an internationally consistent approach to how LEED is tailored to different regions of the world, the CaGBC will not be developing stand-alone Canadian rating systems. Instead, the CaGBC will streamline development work by providing Canadian options for demonstrating compliance – termed Alternative Compliance Paths – within the international rating systems.
Alternative Compliance Paths, or ACPs, will allow the CaGBC to identify equivalent means of demonstrating compliance to the credit requirements. For example, where an equivalent Canadian reference standard exists, an ACP can allow for the use of that standard.
This model for tailoring LEED to the Canadian market will simplify the development process and allow ALL the LEED rating systems to be made available to Canadians.
Better user experience
Applying ACPs will help further improve the user’s experience of LEED, allowing project teams to benefit from more regular errata and upgrades to rating systems and tools while leveraging LEED Online, an online platform that helps coordinate the submission process as well as certification review.
CaGBC will continue to provide certification reviews to ensure an appreciation and understanding of the unique Canadian context. We will continue to provide local support for any questions and issues that may arise during the design, construction, and certification of projects.
The CaGBC is committed to offering Canadian clients LEED certification services in both official languages and is working with the USGBC to determine the appropriate model for offering French language services.
Registration is now open
Registration to the LEED v4 rating systems opened in November 2013, and it is expected that Canadian ACPs will be introduced at our National conference in June 2014.
In order to facilitate the transition to LEED v4, projects will be able to register under the current rating systems until at least 2015. This will provide a period of time during which project teams will have the opportunity to choose which version to register under.
Thinking about pursuing LEED v4? Be the first Platinum certified project, and receive free certification!
There are a number of further improvements coming with LEED v4, including web-based reference guides and simplification of the documentation and submittal requirements. CaGBC will be posting new information as it becomes available, so check back regularly and be sure to read our LEED Technical Bulletins, free to all National and Chapter members - to sign-up, simply send us an email.
For further support, please contact Customer Service by email at email@example.com or by phone at 1-866-941-1184.
Credentials and Education
With the launch of LEED v4 comes changes to the LEED Professional Credential Exams for the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP with specialty designations. The CaGBC is working closely with the USGBC to ensure all education is kept up to date. For more information on taking the exams or education prior to the change, click here.