ACC also is concerned about LEED credits that discourage use of products that contain certain chemicals, most of them plastics. Among these are insulation that contains foam board or spray foam; floor tiles and roofing membranes; wire/cable jackets and pipes that contain vinyl and other chemicals; certain adhesives and sealants; and polycarbonate-based LED lighting, skylights and canopies.
In response, Horst says points associated with the use of those products do not keep a building from LEED certification or even LEED Platinum status. "These points are credits, not prerequisites, and completely optional," he says.
ENERGY STAR Concerns
BOMA International, which represents building owners and managers, is also supporting the delay of the new LEED, says Karen Penafiel, BOMA's vice president of advocacy, codes and standards.
BOMA is particularly concerned about proposed changes to a prerequisite for certification under LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED EB): a minimum score of 75 out of 100 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR building energy-use benchmarking program.
USGBC's goal is to align LEED EB with ENERGY STAR. In LEED 2009, the minimum ENERGY STAR rating is 69.
More than 90% of LEED EB-certified projects earned an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or above, according to USGBC. For the others, USGBC launched a pilot program that provides an alternative path to certification. For example, Pilot Credit 67 allows projects to meet even the current LEED prerequisite—an ENERGY STAR score of 69— by improving energy performance by 20% over previous energy use, demonstrated by a year of data.
The pilot is open to as many as 500 projects. Two projects have registered since the program began in March. Information about the pilot is available at www.usgbc.org in the website's LEED section.