Currently Reading

USGBC requires buildings seeking LEED to provide performance data on energy and water usage as precondition of certification

USGBC requires buildings seeking LEED to provide performance data on energy and water usage as precondition of certification

August 11, 2010

June 25, 2009 (Washington, DC) - As part of LEED v3, the latest version of the U.S. Green Building Council’s program for green building design, construction, operations and maintenance, buildings seeking LEED certification will begin submitting operational performance data on a recurring basis as a precondition to certification. 

“Today there is all too often a disconnect, or performance gap, between the energy modeling done during the design phase and what actually happens during daily operation after the building is constructed,” said Scot Horst, Senior Vice President of LEED, U.S. Green Building Council.  “We’re convinced that ongoing monitoring and reporting of data is the single best way to drive higher building performance because it will bring to light external issues such as occupant behavior or unanticipated building usage patterns, all key factors that influence performance.” 

USGBC will be able to use the performance information collected to inform future versions of LEED.

“Building performance will guide LEED’s evolution. This data will show us what strategies work – and which don’t -- so we can evolve the credits and prerequisites informed by lessons learned,” said Brendan Owens, USGBC’s vice president of LEED technical development. 

“It will also help us to educate building owners on how users of the building can impact its energy use and water consumption, to be sure the building is operating as it was designed to,” added Horst.  “Similar to the sticker on a new car that says the car will get 30 miles to the gallon – the car is calibrated to perform but it’s also reliant on the driver’s habits.” 

Projects can comply with the performance requirement in one of three ways:
1. The building is recertified on a two-year cycle using LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance.
2. The building provides energy and water usage data on an on-going basis annually.
3. The building owner signs a release that authorizes USGBC to access the building’s energy and water usage data directly from the building’s utility provider.

The requirement creates a data stream on LEED-certified building performance that can be used by owners and operators to optimize their building performance and promote the establishment of energy efficiency goals over the life of the building.

USGBC is proactively investigating cost effective ways for every LEED building to become metered as a way to capture this data,” said Owens.  “However, we know that there are building types that may have a central plant, a military base or a university campus, for instance, where it would be cost prohibitive to install meters on every single building,” said Owens.  In this circumstance, the MPR would be waived. 

 “LEED was created to transform the way we build and operate buildings with a goal of reducing the impacts of the built environment.  The LEED design and construction certifications recognize one piece of a building’s lifecycle but it’s the day-to-day running of the building that has dramatic impact on its performance.  We know that buildings can be a huge part of the solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel dependence and  USGBC sees this as one more step forward in accomplishing its goals for addressing climate change,” added Horst.  

About the U.S. Green Building Council
The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.

With a community comprising 78 local affiliates, more than 20,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 100,000 LEED Accredited Professionals, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to soar to $60 billion by 2010.  The USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.

Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.

About LEED
The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings and communities. More than 35,000 projects are currently using LEED, comprising over 5.6 billion square feet of space in all 50 states and 91 countries.

By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

USGBC was co-founded by current President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi, who spent 25 years as a Fortune 500 executive.  Under his 15-year leadership, the organization has become the preeminent green building, membership, policy, standards, education and research organization in the nation.

For more information, visit

Contact : Ashley Katz
Communications Manager, USGBC

Magazine Subscription

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.


Follow BD+C: