LEED Revises Rating System to Include Regional Credits

The U.S. Green Building Council has included regional credits to its rating system to encourage builders to address environmental issues in specific regions of the country.

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The U.S. Green Building Council announced last Friday that it will include regional credits as part of its new version of the LEED Green Building Rating System, which took effect on April 27, 2009. The credits will address regional environmental priorities for buildings in different geographic locations.

Brendan Owens, vice president of technical development for USGBC, says that environmental priorities differ from region to region and that the credits are a way for LEED to respond to that.

In each region, credits addressing six specific environmental issues were identified from existing credits. LEED projects will be able to earn bonus points for green building strategies that address the issues facing their region. A project can only earn up to four extra points, however.

These changes are part of the LEED 2009 Ratings System, which is one of three components that make up LEED Version 3, the next version of LEED green building certification. The other two components are LEED Online, a new version of the website that should speed up the registration and certification process, and a new building certification model.

More about LEED

• The U.S. Green Building Council's latest version of LEED contains an online section to assist builders and improve communication between project certifiers and teams. Find out more about LEED Version 3.

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• Tornado-torn Greensburg, Kansas, passes a resolution requiring all rebuilt, city-owned buildings to meet LEED Platinum standards. Read about the tiny town's efforts to go green!

• Citi's Data Center in Frankfurt, Germany received LEED Platinum rating. Learn more about the building's green features.

• View a complete listing of regional credits.