USGBC Revising LEED Scoring System

Editor's Report
August 11, 2010

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is in the process of revising the Green Building Rating Scoring System used to determine Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

The USGBC is accepting public comment on the proposed changes to the rating system via its website, www.usgbc.org, until 5:00 p.m. PST, June 22.

This is the public's opportunity to review and comment on the revisions that will affect how points toward LEED certification will be earned in the future.

The USGBC promises that it will review all comments received through the website.

Scot Horst, chairman of the volunteer LEED steering committee that leads the technical development of the LEED rating system, said that continuing to seek the right balance between technical advancement and market transformation was a driving force behind the LEED 2009 changes.

One of the neat things about the LEED standards is that they are all voted on by all 15,000 members of the USGBC, not just arbitrarily set by a few autocrats.

Some of the standards will definitely be more stringent.

USGBC president, CEO and founding chairperson Rick Fedrizzi has said, "LEED 2009 re-sets the bar for green building leadership because the urgency of our mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further."

This is an opportunity for contractors, project developers, engineers, designers, material suppliers, and others that will have to work under the new standards to have a say in shaping the sustainability yardstick by which their work will be judged.

PCA Says Designers Turning To Concrete For Sustainability

A recent survey by the Portland Cement Association (PCA) showed that concrete was used by more than three out of four design professionals who were surveyed about their preference of materials for sustainable design.

The respondents ranked concrete favorably for its energy efficiency, durability and low maintenance.

Survey respondents ranked, on a scale from one to five, the importance of 22 attributes they considered when selecting building materials. Energy efficiency ranked highest with 4.5 rating, followed by durability at 4.4, and aesthetics at 4.2.

After measuring the mean ratings of the attributes, the PCA evaluated how concrete, wood, and steel ranked against them. Each material was then evaluated to see how it ranked overall as a "green" material. Concrete scored 4.2, wood 4.03 and steel 3.85.

The questionnaire was administered earlier this year to architects, designers, engineers, and environmental planners and managers. More than 500 respondents answered the blind survey.

HSI Hires Hunzinger For Largest Menomonee Valley Project

HSI Development Partners, Glendale, has hired Hunzinger Construction as the general contractor for what HIS says is the largest project to date in Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley Industrial Center.

The $10-million, 160,000-square-foot facility will be built at the gateway to the redeveloping valley, just east of Miller Park along Canal St.

The building will be leased long-term to exhibit-producer Derse, Inc., which plans to move its headquarters from Wauwatosa to the new facility in order to expand its workforce and operations.

The building was designed by Eppstein Uhen Architects and incorporates numerous glass and pre-cast concrete elements.

Ryan Schultz, an HSI principal, said Hunzinger was selected because, "it is a reliable, capable and quality builder with a century-long tradition of excellence, dependability and safety."

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All of these, and many more subjects, make good news. We'd love to share it.

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