I recently learned that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will be changing the criteria for LEED buildings, thus making it harder for buildings to become LEED accredited. The way I understand it is that LEED has a checklist of things contractors can do to make buildings greener. Once one of the green items on the checklist is completed, the building receives points toward being a LEED building. However, the USGBC is taking a more holistic approach and will, for instance, not be doling out any LEED awards for buildings who have bike racks, but an inefficient furnace. This is an exaggerated example, but you get the point.
This comes as a great leap forward as building construction and maintenance consume more energy than industry does. The LEED standard has been changing with the times and will continue to change as technology and demand shape the need. Which “leeds” me to my final point. If we as consumers demand greener buildings, then the LEED standard will change based on our demand.
The list of LEED standards are too long to display here, but they involve making a building that uses recycled materials, is energy and water efficient, is environmentally friendly and is long lasting. For more on LEED check out the USGBC website.