Last fall, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released their revised rating system for the LEED Neighborhood Development program. This January marked the closing period for comments, and if an additional response period is not required, the rating system could go into affect as early as spring.
The main revision to the LEED-ND puts equal, if not more importance, on the location and site of the building. For instance, a home built on a brownfield site would receive a higher rating than a home built on undeveloped land.
The USGCB, CNU and NRDC have been working on this revised rating system since 2002. The three groups came together under the belief that collectively, they could achieve more, affect a larger group and represent more communities than one party alone could accomplish.
In 2007, the three groups opened the rating system to the public. More than 370 neighborhoods and homes applied, but by 2009 the number decreased to 238. Out of the participants, many of them put revised rating system into practice, even before the three groups finalized the rating system. With this feedback, the three groups feel the rating system is versatile and meets the needs of any community.
More about LEED
• Famous skyscrapers across the nation are trying to achieve LEED certification to attract high-profile tenants. Check out which buildings are making changes.
• Buildings seeking LEED certification are now required to provide energy use reports.