LEED 2012 Review Period

Michael recently drew your attention to the LEED Pilot Credit Library. It is full of interesting new credits to which your product may contribute. Now that the comment period for LEED 2012 is nearly over, it is time to see which of these creative new credits will be elbowing out your old favorites. You may be pleasantly - or unpleasantly - surprised.

The conversion that shocked me most was the transformation of several Materials and Resources credits into a new "Material Life Cycle Disclosure and Assessment" credit. If you're accustomed to declaring your product's recycled content, you may need to make some changes to how you source that content. Recycled content will be required to come from manufacturers with closed-loop systems. That is, you, the manufacturer, need to accept your own products or similar products back into the manufacturing stream for recycling. Some carpet manufacturers have reclamation programs in place, but it may be a challenge for other manufacturers to contribute to this credit.

The good news is that all kinds of disclosure and life cycle assessment (LCA) credit opportunities are part of the"Material Life Cycle Disclosure and Assessment" credit. If you know where your materials originate and what they contain, and you are willing to disclose that information, you may be able to open this credit back up for your company.

Some credits substantially change: two are the "Rapidly Renewable Materials" and "Certified Wood" credits. Both are now part of "Responsible Extraction of Raw Materials." See BuildingGreen's analysis of how FSC certified wood is rewarded in LEED 2012. "Regional Materials" is replaced by "Support Local Economy".

I urge you to see for yourself what advantages and disadvantages the new LEED rating systems hold for your company. By all means, comment on the changes, as they are not yet set in stone. Contact us for help with your sourcing, production and marketing strategies for LEED 2012.

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Michael Chusid has been a consultant to over 100 successful organizations in the building products industry. He serves an international clientele from offices in Los Angeles, California.
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