Last month in part one, we began to take a look back at what's been happening concerning the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building rating/certification program. We saw how the statement made at the November 2004 Greenbuild International Conference in Portland, Ore., by the USGBC's President Rick Fedrizzi "If it's not LEED, it's not green," generated much controversy as did two comprehensive reports and a user survey of the LEED program in its first five years of existence. This month, we'll review the new LEED offerings.

November 2004 was to be a significant turning point in the world of "Building Green" and the USGBC's LEED program. As discussed in part one, the number of LEED-AP's soared from 9,000 to more than 19,000 due to the implementation of a new, more challenging exam for LEED-AP's (many sought accreditation under the old exam). The original LEED certification program (aka "product") was LEED new construction. Henceforth, LEED-NC will be referred to as LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations but will retain the acronym "NC" only. At Greenbuild '04, the USGBC announced the introduction of two new LEED programs:

• LEED Existing Buildings

• LEED Commercial Interiors


LEED for existing buildings has the distinction of being the second official LEED "product." Consider the fact that, for every new construction project, there are 80 times as many existing buildings in North America. No doubt, this represents a tremendous potential for expansion of USGBC/LEED and will have a definite impact on the real estate market. Unlike LEED-NC (which is based on building design and construction for new construction and major renovations), LEED-EB is based on facility management practices/policies and measured performance. Short of a gut rehab, LEED-EB is intended for a building's operations and renovation. Under LEED-NC (v2.1), 69 points are possible under the six category credit/point criteria:

• Energy and Atmosphere

• Materials and Resources

• Indoor Environmental Quality

• Sustainable Sites

• Water Efficiency

• Innovation and Design

For LEED-EB, a total of 85 points under these same categories are possible. LEED-EB was introduced as version 2.0 (v2.0). Like the original LEED-NC, it was tested under a pilot program which was given the designation "version 1.0" (v1.0). The new LEED-EB allows projects previously certified under LEED-NC to be certified under LEED-EB. However, LEED-EB requires re-certification every five years at a minimum along with additional fees and documentation (these fees are lower than they are for the initial LEED-EB certification). As of December 2004, there were a total of 14 LEED-EB certified projects:

• One Platinum (California EPA HQ)

• Ten Gold

• Two Silver (one of which was the National Geographic Society's HQ in Washington)

• One Certified (Oregon Convention Center)


Perhaps most relevant to the walls and ceilings industry, LEED for Commercial Interiors became the third official product of the USGBC LEED program. At the time of this writing, a companion version to LEED-CI: LEED for Core & Shell is in a pilot program phase. Since LEED-CI is intended only to serve tenants who have direct control over the spaces they occupy, LEED-CS will work in tandem with LEED-CI to serve multi-tenant buildings. Like LEED-EB and LEED-NC, it was introduced under "version 2.0" whereby its pilot program became "version 1.0."

LEED-NC v2.1 is intended to apply to whole buildings inclusive of the site they occupy. LEED-CI applies exclusively to tenant fit-outs and other interior renovations. Under the LEED program criteria for credits/points, a total of 57 points are possible. As of December 2004, 36 projects were registered under the LEED-CI pilot program of which, 16 have been certified:

• One Platinum

• Six Gold

• Four Silver

• Five Certified*


Scheduled for pilot-testing this past summer, USGBC's LEED for Homes will differ somewhat from the other three LEED programs, in that selected regional "program providers" will administer the program rather than USGBC staff at the Washington headquarters. This new certification model will train home raters and builders in LEED-H program requirements and green building techniques. The five select providers are:

• Scottsdale Green Building Program (Arizona)

• Davis Energy Group Inc. (California)

• E-Star Colorado & Built Green Colorado

• The Florida Energy Center &

University of Central Florida

• Southface Energy Institute


These providers will verify that homes built under LEED-H meet all program requirements and ensure the practicality and effectiveness of the program. Thanks to a $375,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation-which provides a special initiative under LEED-H for affordable housing and a venue for announcing the foundation's "Awards of Excellence for Affordable Housing Built Responsibly" at annual Greenbuild conferences-LEED-H joins the growing stable of LEED programs.

Next month, in part three, we'll conclude our review with a look at the international scene for LEED and its derivatives: north, south and east of the border.

* Note: "Certified" level has replaced the original "Bronze" level of certification status