Proposed Requirements in LEED 2012 Will Allow Fenestration Products to Qualify in More Places

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is in the process of developing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 2012 criteria, and some of the proposed changes could impact the glass industry.

“For the most part, there are a number of positive changes in the proposed LEED 2012 requirements,” says Thomas D. Culp, president of Birch Point Consulting in La Crosse, Wis. “There is an increased ability to take credit for renewable energy, including photovoltaics (PV), – both onsite and offsite.”

There are a number of significant changes in the materials side, he says. “The certified wood credit has been expanded to give credit for other responsibly sourced materials including aluminum and glass, as long as the raw materials come from sources under the Framework for Responsible Mining.

“Also, primary aluminum and glass are currently mostly shut out of the regional material credit, because the raw materials – bauxite, silica, etc. – rarely come from within 500 miles of the jobsite, but this credit is now being transformed into a ‘Support for Local Economy’ credit based on the final products manufactured and purchased locally,” Culp says. “This will allow fenestration products to now qualify in more places.”

According to the USGBC website, LEED 2012 will focus on increasing the technical rigor of the rating system and expanding the market sectors that are able to use LEED. It will have new credit categories, changed technical content and a revised point distribution system. The proposed technical changes are based on market data, stakeholder-generated ideas, expert engagement, and advances in technology and market acceptability of LEED and green building practices.

“LEED 2012 has gone through two public comment periods, and will go into member ballot” possibly late next summer, says Ashley Katz, media manager at USGBC in Washington, D.C.

“As the LEED certification program continues to evolve, the program should greatly benefit by making it more technical and transparent,” says David Warden, enerGfacade brand manager for YKK AP in Austell, Ga. “Providing transparency to the data will allow design professionals to incorporate proven, validated strategies in future building designs. In addition, updating the program to be more technical will help focus strategies on more performance based concepts and allow manufacturers of building products to precisely support the design community with the proper metrics used to evaluate each product’s performance.”

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