The U.S. Green Building Council unveiled the latest version of its LEED for Existing Buildings green building certification system at the International Facilities Managers Association's annual convention in New Orleans on October 25.
“While we can accomplish a lot in LEED-NC (new construction) there are 45 million buildings in this country alone, comprising billions of square feet,” said Tim Cole, a USGBC board member and director of flooring manufacturer Forbo North America in Hazleton, Pa. “If we want to make a difference, we must get our existing buildings green.”
LEED-EB Operations and Maintenance (the new name for LEED-EB) includes fewer program prerequisites, greater emphasis on facilities operations and maintenance, updated reference standards, and expanded sections on water efficiency, energy performance, building commissioning, and green cleaning. LEED-EB O&M is currently in member ballot and has gone through two rounds of public comment. The balloting closes November 26.
The rating system and submission process were created as a joint effort between the USGBC LEED-EB steering committee, IFMA, and the Building Owners and Managers Association.
Some of the changes include:
50% more points for energy efficiency in EA Credit 1 and new credits for energy best practices, including auditing and building commissioning.Double the number of points previously available for water efficiency and new credits for water metering and cooling tower efficiency.Green cleaning has been consolidated in a single point category with emphasis on achieving a comprehensive green cleaning program and performance metrics for its effectiveness.New construction credits and prerequisites were removed from the system.Credits for bike racks and carpool signs have been converted into a performance-based system that rewards results for use.All credits in the Materials section have been sorted into groups, including consumable goods, durable goods, and facilities alterations and additions.References to third-party standards have been updated to include latest versions, notably ASHRAE 62 and 55, Uniform Plumbing Code, Green Seal, Environmental Choice, and CRI Green Label Plus.Prerequisites have been reduced from 13 to nine.
The USGBC's Doug Gatlin, director of the LEED-EB group, said changes made during the public comment periods included new language to allow for multi-tenant buildings to more easily qualify for some credits, such as materials prerequisites for purchasing that might be in the control of tenants and not facilities managers.
“The current version of LEED-EB [2.0] uses a lot of credits that are new construction oriented,” Gatlin said. “The aim is to differentiate the EB rating system from that of NC. The main differential is EB is for ongoing operations of a building, whereas NC is limited to design and construction.”