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LEED 2009 green building certificates include regional credits

The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has released LEED regional credits as part of LEED 2009, the latest version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

The regional LEED credits encourage that specific regional environmental priorities are addressed when it comes to the design, construction and operations of buildings in different geographic locations.

Brendan Owens, Vice President of Technical Development, USGBC, explains: “Because environmental priorities differ among various regions of the country – the challenges in the Southeast differ from those in the Northwest, for example – regionally specific credits give LEED a way to directly respond to diverse, regionally grounded issues. The inclusion of these regional LEED credits is the Council’s first step toward addressing regional environmental issues.”

Credits addressing 6 specific environmental issues within a region have been identified from among the existing LEED credits. In LEED 2009, LEED projects will be able to earn ‘bonus points’ for implementing green building strategies that address the environmental issues facing their region. A project can be awarded as many as four extra points, one point each for achieving up to four of the 6 priority credits.

LEED 2009 is one of the three major components that make up LEED Version 3, the next version of the LEED green building certification programme, which was launched on 27 April 2009.

The other components of LEED V3 include a “faster, smarter and easier to use” LEED Online, the tool for managing the LEED registration and certification process; and a new building certification model administered by the Green Building Certification Institute through a network of independent ISO-accredited certification bodies.

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