Effective immediately, all projects seeking certification from the U.S. Green Building Council will need to register under LEED v4. Location and Transportation is a new credit category under LEED v4. It is a prerequisite credit requiring environmentally sensitive site management practices has been added to the Sustainable Sites category. New credits have been added under the Sustainable Sites category regarding controls for storm water design, and long term health of the site. The Water Efficiency category has a new prerequisite credit requiring a 30% reduction in irrigation and an additional permanent whole-building water meter. Two new credits have been added to Water Efficiency covering sources of water used for cooling towers and a sub-metering requirement. The Energy & Atmosphere prerequisite credits now require whole building energy measurement. New credits are available under Energy & Atmosphere for advanced metering of all energy sources and for participation in a demand response program. The Material & Resources prerequisite credits now require a target for reduction in waste and policies for indoor air quality and waste management. Reuse of materials, specifically in a historic building, is a new credit available under Material & Resources. There are also three more credits added to this category regarding product disclosure intended to enhance transparency. A whole building life assessment calculator is added to v4 to help projects understand the life cycle of the materials used in the buildings. The Indoor Environmental Quality section has been updated to improve the occupants’ experience in the indoor environment, from a health standpoint, and based on (high) performance and occupancy comfort and satisfaction. Also, with the addition of new credits, LEED v4’s goal seems to be leaning more towards protection of resources before depletion, not just reacting to negative human impacts on the environment. A project team now has three new rating systems written for new building types: Data Centers, Warehouse & Distribution Centers, and Hospitality buildings. Currently, there are over 69,000 certified LEED buildings throughout the world.
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