Photo courtesy of USGBC.
Leading the Way to LEED v5: VG Staff Weigh In
By Jordan Klotzle
In early November, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that it would begin development of an update to the LEED rating system, commonly referred to as LEED v5.
LEED v4 has been in widespread use for nearly a decade since its official adoption. Now, USGBC is looking ahead to revamping and updating the way the LEED rating system interacts with climate resilience, occupant health, biodiversity, and social equity.
In a June 2022 release, “The Future of LEED,” USGBC outlined the ways that LEED v5 will seek to meet the challenges of the Paris Agreement and “drastically transform its approach” to the design and construction of green buildings.
LEED, “just like the building code, is always evolving to what the community needs,” shared Rebecca Ramsdale, our Director of Projects. As the conversations around equity and justice continue to ramp up, Energy Analyst Blake McLam noted that USGBC appears poised to “illuminate the gray areas of previous [LEED] versions to make more buildings eligible for credits” and potentially lower the barrier for entry to LEED certification, which may allow for smaller and lower-budget projects to have a more equitable shot at certification.
An update to the LEED rating system also presents the opportunity for USGBC to include more ways for buildings to directly respond to the climate crisis. Ramsdale highlighted a potential area for growth in the tracking of carbon emissions from things like construction and water usage. Associate Project Manager Madison Perry noted that projects in states with more aggressive building codes, such as California and New York, are often able to meet most requirements for LEED certification simply by following code. Perry hopes that the updates to come in LEED v5 will help nudge project teams in these states to “rise to the challenges” of considering the bigger picture of how our built infrastructure interacts with the environment and our climate.
The road to the official implementation of LEED v5 is likely to be a long one; for the foreseeable future, LEED v4 and its beta update, v4.1, will remain the prevailing version of the rating system. Nonetheless, being a leader in the sustainability sector requires staying two steps ahead of current trends—a challenge that Verdical Group’s expert staff are well-prepared to meet.
Ramsdale, who oversees all project work across our Project Management, Commissioning, and Energy and Atmosphere teams, is confident that Verdical Group’s expertise and skill places our team in the ideal position to be our clients’ North Star “when it comes to navigating new LEED rating systems, analyzing strategies, and making your project the best that it can be!”
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