I have just returned from the annual GREENBUILD International Conference and Expo held in New Orleans. Spending a week in The Big Easy was indeed easy. Good music and even better food made visiting there a real treat. I was at the conference to be part of an AIHA sponsored round table presentation on the IAQ aspect of LEEDv4. Our session was titled “Indoor Air Quality Management and Sampling” The focus of my portion of the presentation was to compare and contrast the IAQ sampling and analysis requirements between LEED 2009 and LEEDv4. I am happy to say that our session was sold out and very well received!
It has been less than a week since the conference ended and today I found out the USGBC says the market needs additional time to prepare for LEEDv4. When LEEDv4 was put into effect in November 2013, you had until June 2015 to implement it. You could no longer use LEED 2009 after that date. The USGBC has decided requiring new LEED projects to register for LEEDv4 as of June 2015 was too soon and has shifted that date back to October 31, 2016. The USGBC said that it was giving the market more time to get ready for LEEDv4 based on feedback it received during the aforementioned Greenbuild Conference. According to USGBC, > 60% of respondents to a survey said they are “not ready” or “unsure” if they are ready for LEEDv4 and require additional time to prepare. USGBC launched LEEDv4 as a more rigorous and fresh take on the LEED green building rating system. Although there are many more components to LEEDv4 that people may take issue with, the laboratory community had some major issues with the IAQ portion of the new standard and for the most part, we are glad for the extension.
As of today, nine LEEDv4 projects had been certified and 304 had started the process by registering during 2014. That’s 15 times fewer than the almost 4,500 LEED 2009 projects registered to date. Between those numbers, the survey, and other market feedback (I like to think the lab community had something to do with this), the USGBC decided it had heard enough and extended the LEED 2009 window another 16 months.
What happens at the end of the extension period? Who knows? Could there be another extension? Possibly. By that time, the IAQ portion of LEEDv4 may not even look like it does today. This summer prior to the conference, members of the AIHA IAQ Committee (yours truly included) and the USGBC IEQ TAG meet and reviewed information and questions about LEEDv4 IAQ sampling requirements. A report, complete with recommendations, has been complied and will be presented to the USGBC for consideration and action. Stay tuned for further developments that may come out of this report.
If you would like a soft copy of my presentation, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. I would happy to provide you with the presentation. If you are interested in finding out more about LEED IAQ certification. Click here.