Twelve years ago, the U.S. Green Building Council launched a rating system to promote the incorporation of environmentally friendly and energy efficient products into construction projects throughout the building industry, known as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Now LEED has grown into a powerful brand and global phenomenon, with more than 14,000 LEED-certified commercial projects in 140 countries and another 34,601 projects in the pipeline.
LEED-certified buildings not only make buildings more energy efficient and reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment, but with many often filled with natural sunlight and access to fresh air, employees also reap the benefits by noticing improvement in concentration, better overall health, and a boost in productivity.
As LEED has grown and green building technology evolves, so has the need to update the rating system. The Green Building Council, a non-profit organization with over 14,000 member companies, has opened a public comment period for the proposed update to its LEED green building program, known as LEED v.4, enabling the building community to view the most recent draft of the rating systems and provide comments where any substantive changes have been made. The proposed changes include increased technical rigor for energy performance and new categories that focus on integrated design, life cycle analysis of materials used and issues like indoor air quality.