Written by Barbara A. Campagna
Your voices are heard! The first comment period for LEED 2012 closed in January and we're proud of the way preservationists rallied and commented. The most comments made were on the credits in the Top 10 List that we suggested in our December 17th blog post. We would like to encourage all of our readers, local and statewide preservation organizations, historic district commissions, federal agencies and anyone who would like to have a voice in the changes to LEED to review this second draft and to make comments.
Update: This comment period for LEED 2012 is open until September 14th, 2011.
Why Should You Care About LEED?
If you would like more background on LEED, the changes to it and why you, as a preservationist, should care, our December 17th blog post (linked above) on the subject is a good resource. Like we did in December, we have prepared a “Top Ten List of Credits” that preservationists can consider. There may of course be many other credits you’d be interested in commenting on, but if your time is limited, these 10 would be a good start.
New Impact Categories
One of the most significant changes to this draft of LEED has been the use of a new weighting system resulting in new distribution of points.
It is very likely that the distribution of points will change again for the third Public Comment Period which will likely come out in the spring of 2012. With that said, the new Impact Categories which have been used to create the revised point system are:
- Reverse Contribution to Global Climate Change
- Enhance Individual Human Health and Well-Being
- Protect and Restore Water Resources
- Protect, Enhance and Restore Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
- Promote Sustainable and Regenerative Material Resource Cycles
- Build a Greener Economy
- Enhance Social Equity, Environmental Justice, Community Health and Quality of Life
How Can I Make Comments?
I can confirm that every comment submitted is reviewed and evaluated. Just look at the chart that identifies every comment that was received in the first Public Comment Period and USGBC’s responses. And numbers count. But you must submit your comments online via the official comment process.
Comments are submitted by individual credit in each system. For example, if you want to make a comment about MR Credit 1: Environmentally Preferable Structure and Enclosure go to the BD&C (Building Design and Construction) draft, and input your comments and your recommendations for that specific credit. Please read and follow the guidelines!
Please note: this can be very overwhelming. Don’t let the amount of redlined drafts paralyze you from commenting at all. And you don’t need to feel compelled to comment on every single credit. If you are really ambitious, we’d encourage you to make comments on our Top 10 list. Additionally, if you want to choose just one credit to comment on, make it the MR (Major Renovations) Credit: Environmentally Preferable Structure.
The beauty of USGBC’s online comment process is commenting by credit. You can pick and choose the ones that have the most impact for you or your organization.
Each rating system is presented as a clean draft and a redlined draft. The process I would suggest:
- Read the Summary of Changes document for each rating system you are interested in.
- Review the redlined draft of the system you are most interested in (We recommend starting with New Construction and Core Shell as these are commonly used in preservation projects).
- Review the new checklist for the system you are reviewing.
- Make a list of comments for yourself by credit.
- Go to the online comment section for the system you’re reviewing and submit your comments and recommendations by credit. I found it useful to keep both the clean and redlined versions opened at the same time.
What happens next?
Given the complexities of the changes to LEED, USGBC has decided to basically take two years to develop the next version of LEED through this consensus-based process. LEED 2012 will likely come out for market use the endof 2012/beginning of 2013. More information on the schedule can be found on our LEED 2012 Schedule site.
Barbara A. Campagna, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C was formerly the Graham Gund Architect of the National Trust in the Stewardship of Historic Sites office. She is currently a sustainability consultant to the National Trust and can be reached by email at email@example.com