Thursday, February 23, 2012

How Will You Impact LEED 2012? Third Public Comment Period Opens Mar. 1

Doug Gatlin
Vice President, LEED
U.S. Green Building Council

Are you an architect? A facilities manager? A building owner?

How about a professional working in a big city high-rise? A father with kids in elementary school? An unabashed shopaholic?

Great, let’s talk LEED 2012.

The third public comment period for LEED 2012, the newest update to the LEED green building program, opens in just five business days on Mar. 1, giving anyone with a stake in our built environment (in other words, everyone) the opportunity to influence the direction LEED takes: seasoned green building pros to college students just beginning their sustainability journey. Building owners to occupants of any kind.

LEED engages and impacts millions (billions?) of people around the world. Its success is in part due to the fact that it is developed by the people who use it. LEED is an ongoing, global project that anyone can join. There’s no other rating system out there that engages the public quite the way LEED does, and we hope you’ll consider voicing your opinion about LEED in the approaching public comment period.

What will happen when you participate in public comment? It’s difficult to communicate just how critical and exciting the public comment periods are for us here at USGBC, but also to LEED users and stakeholders everywhere. It’s hard to describe the huge opportunity they present to people who want to shape the development of LEED. Your input will help us produce a finalized version of LEED 2012, reflecting the voices of stakeholders from across the green building industry. We document and address every last comment – and that’s no small task! During the first two rounds of public comments on LEED 2012 (held November 2010 – January 2011 and August - September 2011, respectively), we received over 13,000 comments. This may seem tedious and daunting to some, but at USGBC, we say the more comments, the better. It makes for an improved, more thoughtful end product.

So what’s the point of all this? Public comment periods are critical steps in a series that lead to balloting—or putting LEED to a public test for approval. Ultimately, this process leads to creating a finalized version of LEED 2012 that will then be applied to commercial buildings, schools, healthcare facilities, retail stores, homes and more. Anyone can participate in public comment, but if you’d like to be a part of the voting process for LEED 2012, scheduled for June 1-30, your employer must be a USGBC National Member in good standing by Mar. 1 and maintain your membership through the balloting period.

If you care about the impact of the LEED rating system—if you want to make sure it continues to facilitate big change in the world in a meaningful way—the public comment process is the way to show it. We look forward to hearing from you in March.

Have questions about public comment? Want to hear more about LEED 2012? Join our CEO, Rick Fedrizzi, for a live Twitter chat on Mar. 8 at noon ET. Follow @RickFedrizzi and use hashtag #LEED2012 to join in.

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