USGBC launched the new LEED 2009 rating systems (NC, Schools, CS, EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems., CI) in April 2009 as part of its LEED version 3 initiative. Thousands of LEED-hopeful projects, however, were previously registered (or continued to register until the June 26, 2009 deadline) for the earlier version of the applicable rating system—mostly LEED for New Construction v2.2.
Although projects registered prior to the LEED 2009 rollout are under no obligation to switch to LEED 2009, USGBC has been encouraging them to do so. Among other things, USGBC allowed projects to transfer into the appropriate LEED 2009 rating system at no additional charge until December 31, 2009.
Switching to LEED 2009 offers:
Why would a project want to stay with pre-2009 systems like LEED-NC v.2.2?
There are good arguments on either side of switching. Your decision will probably be tipped in one direction or the other by your project specifics. Now, on to the numbers.
All LEED 2009 rating systems use a basic 100-point scale embellished with 110 as the theoretical maximum score, with 10 additional points for innovation and for regional priorities.
Using LEED 2009, six geographically specific Regional Priority (RP) credits per rating system are identified (by zip code) and are worth one point each. A maximum of four RP points may be earned.
Within the new LEED 2009 100-point system, the distribution of all points is based on the potential environmental impacts and human benefits of each credit. Impacts are defined as “the environmental or human effects of the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a building,” such as:
The point distributions in LEED 2009 systems were established using a combination of approaches, including energy modeling, life-cycle assessment1. Life-cycle assessment is an analysis of the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product, process, or service.
2. The practice of quantifying and characterizing all the resource and pollution flows associated with a process or product, for the purpose of documenting its environmental impact. It is defined by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) as "a compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life-cycle.", and transportation analysis. USGBC now awards more points for strategies that encourage energy efficiency and carbon emission reductions. Consequently, LEED-NC 2009 Sustainable Sites (SS) and Energy and Atmosphere (EA) credits can now contribute much more toward certification than before, while total credits in the Materials and Resources (MR) and Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) categories are relatively less weighted.
With the change to the LEED point scale, the certification thresholds have also changed. (See table at right.)
For a “Certified” rating under LEED-NC v2.2, 26 points are needed, so each point represents 1/26 or 3.85% of certification. Under LEED 2009, 40 points are needed so each point is worth only 1/40 or 2.5%. The earning power of each individual point has been devalued in LEED 2009. In practical terms, this means that a credit that was worth one point in older rating systems, and that is still worth one point in LEED 2009, contributes less value towards certification than before.
Where will the additional 14 points needed for basic certification come from? A number of LEED 2009 credits now carry additional points, and become attractive potential targets for projects when applicable. If you’re considering switching to LEED 2009, start by assessing the likelihood of achieving these credits:
• SSc2: Development Density and Community Connectivity +4 pts A credit typically achieved in more developed or urban sites or on campuses.
• SSc4.1: Alternative Transportation: Public Transportation Access +5 ptsA credit typically achieved in more developed, urban sites or on campuses.
• WEp1: Water Use Reduction: 20% ReductionThis is a new prerequisite,
• EAc1: Optimize Energy Performance +9 pts Projects need to demonstrate improved energy performance in order to be certified under LEED 2009. Before any points are earned, you must earn LEED 2009 EAp2: Minimum Energy Performance, which calls for a 10% improvement over ASHRAE 90.1-2007. This standard is also more stringent than ASHRAE 90.1-2004, the baseline for LEED-NC 2.2.
• EAc2: Renewable Energy +4 pts Even with incentives, a significant economic investment is typically involved to achieve some of these points, usually with solar photovoltaics (PV), although it has now become easier to achieve at least one point under EAc2 as the threshold for one point has gone from 2.5% to 1%.
• RPc1: Regional Priority +4 pts No additional work is necessary to earn regional priority credits. Up to four points are simply available if at least four specific credits specified for that zip code are achieved by the project. An analysis of several building types shows that many projects can expect 2–3 points here without much added effort.
It may be worth doing an analysis for your project, comparing LEED 2009 with older systems, side by side. An excellent free online calculator is available in the Resources section to help with this.
The consultants at the Sustainable Design Collaborative in New York did a comparison for a LEED-NC v.2.2 project that received a Gold rating with 41 Points. The project building was less than 30,000 ft2, an educational center with lodgingLodging are facilities that provide overnight accommodations to customers or guests, including hotels, motels, inns and resorts., located on a rural site in the Northeast U.S. Under LEED 2009, the project was evaluated at 49 points. However, even with the increase in total points projected to earn, it would only reach Certified level—one point shy of a Silver rating. This is an example of a specific, non-urban project scoring very differently under the two systems.
The initial comparisons conjure up several preliminary generalities for projects:
Finally, be thoughtful and careful when you consider upgrading from an earlier version to LEED 2009. The presence or lack of just a few well-rewarded credits can make all the difference between a Silver or Gold rating.
This article from the RealLifeLEED blog offers a detailed credit-by-credit accounting of the changes to requirements in LEED 2009.
A broad but cursory overview of changes from LEED-NC v2.2 to v2009, from USGBC.
USGBC provides this description of the enhancements to LEED Online and the new certification process, all part of LEED v3.
Slick downloadable spreadsheets for LEED-NC and LEED-CS that make it easy to estimate how your project will fare in the transition to LEED 2009 (free registration required).
Can I combine two building towers linked by a podium/mall underneath into one LEED project?
Tower 1 - registered V2.2 CS rating system, in final submission stage.
Tower 2 - just started construction which mean if registered under LEED, is going to be CS 2009.
since 2009 is more stringent than 2.2, we are afraid Tower 2 wouldhttp://www.leeduser.com/sites/all/themes/leeduser/images/form-submit.gif not meet the 2009 requirement since Tower 2 is a exact duplicate of Tower 1.
Billy, I would say the question of whether they can be certified under LEED 2009 depends on the relationship between the two buildings, in light of the Minimum Program Requirements. I would review those documents and post back here with your thoughts.
Does somebody know how much is to upgrade a project registered in LEED CS v2.0 to LEED V3? Thanks.
Since the free upgrade period has passed, the cost would be the same for registering a new LEED 2009 project, as it would be for upgrading. The fees are on the GBCI website -- I don't know them offhand.
Thanks for responding Tristan. And just a quick correction: a project team that is upgrading to v2009 only needs to pay the difference between their previous registration fee and the v2009 registration fee.
I just wanted to ask if there is a 'retiring' date or deadline for projects that are registered under LEED v2.2 to get certified before a certain date??? And what will happen to their application if such a date comes while not yet awarded the certificate??
Theoretically there could be a deadline, but so far none has been announced. Since there are so many projects (thousands) in v2.2 it seems unlikely that such a "sunset date" would be imposed anytime soon.
If such a date were imposed I imagine that they would be strongly encouraged to upgrade to v2009, rather than just falling off the map.
Thanks, Tristan for the prompt reply.
Your answer to my question was so clear...
Nice job! alot of usefull information, thank a lot! I found you by google
As Tristan predicted, there is now a deadline. GBCI recently released guidelines stating that a project can be submitted in a version of the rating for us to six years after that system is no longer available for registration.
Since NC-2.2 was available for registration until June 26, 2009, the deadline for submitting under that system would be June 25, 2015.
Is this deadline for construction submittal or design?
Susan, it's important to note that this deadline has not been officially announced—we're simply anticipating what it will be based on stated GBCI policy.
Based on the sunset date announcement for NC v2.1, the 2015 date would be the deadline for final (construction) submittal.
As I understand it, since June 26, 2009, all CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide rulings for all rating systems including pre-LEED 2009 and current versions, will be project specific. The ruling will only apply to the project and there will not be any CIRs published on the USGBC website under the CIR database. The CIR response you receive from your CB (Certified Body) will not be applicable across other LEED systems or other projects.
You'll submit your project specific CIR through LEED Online for LEEDv2009 projects. You can get more info here at the bottom of the page: http://www.gbci.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=142
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