LEED adds performance requirements

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The U.S. Green Building Council will now require performance data before buildings can receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

“Today, there is all too often a disconnect, or performance gap, between the energy modeling done during the design phase and what actually happens during daily operation,” said Scot Horst, senior vice president of the LEED program. “We’re convinced that ongoing monitoring and reporting of data is the single best way to drive higher building performance because it will bring to light external issues such as occupant behavior or unanticipated building usage patterns, all key factors that influence performance.”

The council will use the performance information to build future versions of the program.

“The data will show us what strategies work – and which don’t – so we can evolve the credits and prerequisites informed by lessons learned,” said Brendan Owens, vice president of LEED technical development.

Projects can comply with the performance requirement in three ways:
– The building is recertified on a two-year cycle using LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance.
– The building provides energy and water use information annually.
– The building owner signs a release that authorizes the council to access the building’s energy and water use information from the utility company.

The council also is investigating ways for every LEED building to have a meter to capture the energy-use information.

“LEED was created to transform the way we build and operate buildings with a goal of reducing the impact of the built environment,” Horst said. “The LEED design and construction certifications recognize one piece of a buildings lifecycle – but it’s the day-to-day running of the building that has dramatic impact on its performance.”