Introducing LEED 2009

On April 27, 2009, The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) launched LEED v3. LEED 2009 does not reinvent the wheel in terms of what exists in the market, but it reorganizes existing commercial and institutional rating systems and offers several important advancements. The flexibility of the LEED structure is key – allowing it to evolve, build upon new technologies in building science while prioritizing energy efficiency and CO2 emission reductions.

So you may ask how has it evolved and how does that effect the kitchen and bath industry? As you are well aware, products do not earn LEED certification points, but projects do – the very projects you want to get your products into. Therefore, supplying your client base with green products that conserve water, are composed of low-emitting materials, recycled content, or certified wood will all likely serve as big selling points in 2009.

Here’s a Breakdown:

With LEED v3, credits will now have different weightings depending on their ability to impact different environmental and human health concerns. LEED now awards more points for strategies that will have greater positive impacts on energy efficiency and CO2 reductions. Each credit was evaluated against a list of 13 environmental impact categories, including climate change, indoor environmental quality, resource depletion and water intake, among many others. The impact categories were prioritized, and credits were assigned a value based on how they contributed to mitigating each impact. The result revealed each credit’s portion of the big picture, giving the most value to credits that have the highest potential for making the biggest change. The credits are all intact; they are just worth different amounts. As a result, LEED 2009 will operate on a 100-point scale. The rating categories include: New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools, Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance, and Commercial Interiors.

The New LEED Certification: What Applies to You:

Water Efficiency Credit Category: There is no better time than now to promote your water-efficient, low-flow fixtures and your relationship with organizations like WaterSense. The buzz phrase is: How low can you go?
Fixtures that Promote Water Conservation:
REDUCE BY 30 – 2 points
– 3 points
REDUCE BY 40% – 4 points

Material and Resources Credit Category: If you manufacture products out of recycled content, make use of wood that is FSC certified or manufacture products that are made from rapidly renewable materials, they can make for a LEED certified project.
Certified Wood: 1 point
Recycled Content:
10% of Content: 1 point
20% of Content: 2 points
Rapidly Renewable Materials: 1 point

Indoor Environmental Quality Credit Category: Eco-friendly, non off gassing paints, finishes and sealants equal LEED points.
Low-Emitting Materials:
Sealants: 1 point
Paints: 1 point
Composite Wood: 1 point.