USGBC Responds To Appeals From Vote Approving LEED v4

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Last week, this blog reported that appeals have been taken from the vote to adopt LEED v4 in a post titled, “Appeals Filed in Latest Revision to LEED – What Will USGBC Do?.”

That blog posted ended, “Look for the USGBC response on this blog.” The USGBC has since responded:

As part of the LEED development process, any party may submit an appeal to USGBC. Following the overwhelmingly positive vote for LEED v4 by our membership, we did receive appeals that we are currently responding to through USGBC’s Executive Committee and its Board of Directors. Our appeals process is outlined in the LEED Foundations document. We are working closely with the appellants to evolve an action plan that all parties are comfortable with. The appeals process has always been an important part of our efforts to be open, transparent and consensus-based and is an important part of the LEED development process. Coupled with our public comment process, these appeals help us review our process from all angles, and evolve it so that we can continue to develop the best possible global green building rating system available.

USGBC September 14, 2013.

Last week, this blog described that “at least 2 appeals have been taken” and copies of 2 notices of appeal were linked to that post. One of those appeals asked USGBC to “strike the FSC certified wood credit in each place it occurs” in LEED v4. The other challenged the LEED v4 MRc4 Materials Disclosure & Optimization “Building product disclosure and optimization – materials ingredients” credit.

It was not possible to confirm other appeals at that time. However, it is now clear that 5 appeals have been taken from the approval of LEED v4, several of those have multiple appellants.

In accordance with the Foundations of LEED procedures, USGBC has responded to all the appellants and once they hear back from them, we expect to be able to provide you more information.

And while there has never been an appeal of a LEED rating system before, some perspective may be appropriate. As USGBC noted in its statement, “any party with a direct and material interest” may appeal. That means any one of 30,000 individual USGBC chapter members, any of 12,777 national member companies, or any of 183,600 member employees, could have noted an appeal; not to mention the 187,000 LEED professionals. USGBC is huge and it should surprise no one there is disagreement among members and competitiveness within the organization.

Allaying uncertainties and concerns over potential implications for the broader green building community, USGBC has also made clear, “USGBC is on target to release LEED v4 at our annual Greenbuild conference and expo in November.”

Article by Stuart Kaplow, appearing courtesy Green Building Law Update.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.