As we here at HBW have blogged about before, the LEEDv4 standards are significantly more complex than the current LEED 2009 standards. The complexities are so significant that the USGBC extended its deadline for the standards changeover until 2016. One major change in the new rating system compels builders to account for life cycle, and environmental, and health impacts of the materials they use in order to maximize their LEEDv4 project credits.
The LEEDv4 certification program utilizes Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) and Health Product Declarations (HPD) to ensure that buildings are healthier, greener, and more sustainable. HPD’s and EPDS give information about materials and contents related to health issues for buildings and for people. To aid with the overwhelming amount of new information that green building industry stakeholders must learn, GreenCE has created a series of tutorial primers on LEEDv4 standards to help make sense of those upcoming study sessions! GreenCE has mobilized an inter-disciplinary team of biologists, architects, and LEED experts to develop and deliver their cutting-edge primers.
According to Dr. Tara Blank, founder of Elixir Environmental, “design professionals now have the ability to make intelligent specification choices based on full disclosure of material content and potential hazards. The HPD is the most significant game changer for project specifications in decades. Building product manufacturers that embrace HPD early on will benefit greatly in the years to come.”
Dr. Blank’s predictions about the importance of the HPD requirement are echoed by Glen Phillips, GreenCE Director of Sustainable Education. “With the overhaul of the LEED programs, especially as they relate to the contribution of building products, it is important for manufacturers to review, and where necessary, update literature to make sure that references to LEED contributions are clear and align to the significant changes in LEED v4,” says Phillips.
Educating the sales force and marketing teams of manufacturing and construction firms about LEEDv4 is a major task for the coming year. This situation has motivated GreenCE to launch the industry’s first no-cost LEED exam Prep program. The program aims to educate stakeholders about the new green rating system through a series of 10 web-based modules ranging from three to 70 minutes in length. Videos, animation, and case studies are among the activities included in the modules.
GreenCE Media Director Brad Blank anticipates that there will be “a significant interest from building product manufacturers who are in dire need of training their sales force. If representative[s] can’t intelligently discuss [a] product in the context of LEED, they may lose out to their competitors. Our programs are designed to bridge the gap between building product manufacturers and design professionals.”
Over 100,000 industry professionals subscribe to GreenCE’s sustainable continuing education programs. In partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council and the American Institute of Architects, the GreenCE LEEDv4 program helps building product