After three years of development, six public comment periods, and plenty of controversy, USGBC members voted to approve LEED v4—in a landslide. LEED version 4 has been approved by a vote of U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) members, with 86% of the voting body voting in the affirmative during a June 2013 ballot period. Approval of LEED v4 as the next version of the LEED Rating System clears the way for its launch during the Greenbuild conference in November.
LEED 2009 and LEED v4 to coexist The Greenbuild launch of LEED v4 will be a “holistic, integrated launch”, with USGBC planning to have LEED Online forms, updated LEED credentialing exams, reference guides, and educational offerings ready. In response to concerns about the changes in LEED v4 being too abrupt, USGBC announced last year that it would ease into LEED v4, with project teams allowed to register for either LEED v4 or LEED 2009 until June 1, 2015, after which only LEED v4 will remain open. (Projects registered under LEED 2009 will be allowed to complete the certification process under that system as long as they do so before it “sunsets,” which could happen as late as 2021, according to precedents.) But if announcements like USGBC’s offer of free certification for the first Platinum LEED v4 projects are any indication, it will try to attract projects to the new system with financial incentives, ease of use, and prestige.