LEED Makes Nice with Living Building Challenge

April 6, 2015 By Linda Hardesty

USGBC Energy ManageIn the world of rating systems there is a sense of competition, but nevertheless, the US Green Building Council will now recognize energy and water requirements from the Living Building Challenge green building system within the LEED green building program.

USGBC says it shares common goals with the International Living Future Institute, developers of the Living Building Challenge.

This move means that projects achieving the energy and water requirements in Living Building Challenge will be considered as technically equivalent to LEED.

Over the last several years, USGBC says it has made concerted efforts to streamline LEED requirements and better complement existing rating systems around the world. In 2012, USGBC said it would recognize energy credits from Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) International, the United Kingdom’s green-building rating program, in applications for LEED certification.

Late in 2014, the USGBC also joined the Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform, a program of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. The Accelerator Platform and its members are committed to the goal of doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.

Takeaway: While the USGBC may be trying to collaborate with would-be competitors, the Green Building Initiative provides the Green Globes system to the US building industry. Green Globes uses the services of independent assessors and utilizes the ANSI national consensus process for developing its Green Globes tools for new construction and major renovations. Green Globes originated from the UK’s  BREEAM rating system.

Recently, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) said that the remodel of its Atlanta-based headquarters was awarded four Green Globes – the highest honors – from the Green Building Initiative.

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