Second Public Comment Period Now Open for Update to USGBC’s LEED Green Building Program


Draft of LEED 2012 features updated language, scorecards; Reflects 6,000 public comments and recommendations collected

Washington, DC – August 1, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) opened the second public comment period for the proposed 2012 update to its LEED green building rating system. The comment period, which will close on September 14, 2011, is the next step in the continuous improvement process and on-going development of the LEED program.

“During the first public comment period, we collected just under 6,000 constructive comments and recommendations on the proposed drafts, which place heightened emphasis on an integrative process and building performance,” said Scot Horst, Senior Vice President, USGBC. “We have also integrated feedback received from project teams who have been pilot testing draft credits in the LEED pilot credit library. We invite members of the engaged, worldwide green building community to take part in the process of further refining and enhancing the LEED program.”

Updated LEED rating system drafts and responses to comments received during the first round of public comment period are posted for review and comment. As promised at the outset of first public comment, the credits in the proposed LEED 2012 rating systems have been allocated points based on a weightings process similar to the process used for 2009, but based on impact categories developed by USGBC specifically for use in LEED. These impact categories more directly align outcomes sought by LEED with USGBC’s market transformation goals. The weightings/point allocation process informed many changes in the rating system, including organizational changes proposed for the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and Materials and Resources (MR) credit categories.

The organizational revisions proposed for the IEQ section provide a more refined focus on air quality, lighting and acoustics, in addition to improved incentives for testing and verification. The organizational revisions proposed for the MR credit category reflect a strong desire to encourage life cycle based thinking through manufacturing and product selection practices. In two new MR credits, which exist in part to fill known gaps in the data used to support life cycle assessment, USGBC is tackling issues related to responsible sourcing of raw materials and human health impacts associated with building products.

A notable change to the LEED 2012 for Neighborhood Development draft includes a split into two rating systems: LEED for Neighborhood Development Plan and LEED for Neighborhood Development, aiming to provide a certification for entitled plans in addition to completed projects. Also, LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance users will recognize a concerted effort to streamline the process of recertification in the operations and maintenance rating systems.

Members of the public can comment on any changes made since the first comment period, which ran from Nov. 8, 2010 until Jan. 19, 2011. Members of the media are invited to a press-only webcast on Tuesday, August 2 3:30-5 PM. Please click here to attend.

USGBC will hold member webcasts in the coming weeks detailing the changes between the first and second public comment drafts. Members can register for the free webcasts by visiting the USGBC Members Only Page.

USGBC Member’s Only LEED 2012 Webcasts:

Monday, August 8: General Overview, Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency
Wednesday, August 10: Integrative Process and Location & Transportation
Monday, August 15: Energy & Atmosphere and Performance
Wednesday, August 17: Materials and Resources
Monday, August 22: Indoor Environmental Quality
Wednesday, August 24: LEED for Homes

Register today for the LEED 2012 Rating System Webcasts by visiting:

USGBC is enhancing the process used to collect and respond to stakeholder feedback on the ideas presented in the public comment drafts. Comments will be collected from projects testing pilot credits and from USGBC-moderated forums and various stakeholder webinars. To learn more about the LEED 2012 development, including accessing the proposed drafts and supporting material, visit

About U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
The 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 79 local affiliates, nearly 16,000 member organizations, and more than 167,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. GDP from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. For more information, visit

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. Over 40,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising more than 8.3 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 120 countries. In addition, more than 12,000 homes have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system, with nearly 58,000 more homes registered. 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. For more information, visit

Ashley Katz
Communications Manager, USGBC

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