The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design program, also known as LEED, is the most widely used rating system for green building in the world. With certified projects in over 160 countries, LEED has shown continued growth since its introduction 16 years ago.
The fourth version of LEED, also known as LEED v4, was set to take full effect in June 2015; however, the registration period for LEED 2009 was extended until October 2016. Now that the extension period has come to an end, LEED v4 is officially in full effect. Previously registered projects can still submit for certification under LEED 2009 until June 30, 2021, but all new projects must meet LEED v4 standards.
LEED v4 was launched in 2013 with the goal of raising the bar for the green building industry, encouraging building owners to strive for higher levels of efficiency. Though more challenging, LEED v4 is also more flexible than ever, with certifications available for all stages of building projects including new construction, major renovations, and existing buildings. LEED v4’s higher standards come with many benefits as well, both for building owners and for the environment.
For example, LEED v4 has an increased focus on water conservation, with 15 LEED points available for water conservation efforts alone. As quoted from the USGBC, “The Water Efficiency (WE) section in the newest version of LEED addresses water holistically, taking into account indoor use, outdoor use, specialized uses and metering. It measures all sources of water related to a building, including cooling towers, appliances, fixtures, fittings, process water, and irrigation. Whole-building-level water metering ensures projects can monitor and control their water use in order to identify opportunities for water savings. LEED v4 also encourages projects to reuse water, including reclaimed wastewater, graywater, condensate, process water, and rainwater, for irrigation, toilet flushing and more.”
Wahaso encourages building owners to pursue and achieve LEED certification, and can help support these efforts through water harvesting and conservation. To learn more, visit our LEED certification page or contact us today.
About the Writer: Emily Avellana is an Elmhurst College graduate with a degree in Marketing, and a Marketing Assistant at Wahaso.