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US Green Building Council gets it … NJ DEP doesn’t!

June 20, 2008

The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has just released the draft version of LEED v3 2009, which is circulating for public comment. This new version does not yet include (but will soon!) the anxiously awaited new Alternate Compliance Path, “Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Building Assemblies,” that will benefit Existing Buildings and will offer an optional path to use the Materials & Resource Credits by addressing the durability and embodied energy of existing materials by using LCA for assemblies. Life Cycle Assessment is a scientific methodology to assess the environmental performance of a product over its full life cycle. (More)

The National Trust and other preservation professionals are working closely with USGBC on this groundbreaking alternative, which is expected to be ready for use with LEED v3 2009 in early 2009. Among the expected elements will be a special LCA Credit Calculator that quantifies the life cycle impact of various materials and building assemblies. The National Trust’s Visitor Education Center at Lincoln Cottage in Washington, DC, which is registered under LEED NC 2.2, is on target for LEED Gold, and will be a pilot project for the Alternate Compliance Path.

The Lincoln Cottage Visitor Education Center

Kudos to USGBC, the National Trust and our many “green” partners for recognizing the inherent sustainability of most existing historic buildings and working to make them even more sustainable while protecting their character.

Not so insightful, on the other hand, were remarks of NJ Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa Jackson at the recent State Historic Preservation Conference, which suggested a less than well-informed view of the current science and best practices regarding the sustainability of historic existing buildings. A lot of educating left to do!

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 26, 2008 3:41 pm

    Great article – everyone needs to read this.

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