Green code and rating system updates resemble software updates, featuring new functions, logic updates, and badly needed fixes to annoying bugs. In the latter category, LEED 2012 goes some ways to improve on the most cumbersome aspect of the program, and that’s required documentation. According to the USGBC, the underlying intention is “operating under the guiding principles of creating intuitive and flexible documentation that focuses on collecting key data points for certification, Reference Guide content that enables project team understanding and achievement of requirements, and education for the successful implementation of new and challenging content in LEED 2012.”

If you’re interested in an overview of any particular credit category, the USGBC website offers recorded webcasts lasting about 45 minutes on each of six categories:

The timeline is as follows:

  • April 2-May 1: LEED 2012 Ballot Opt-In Period for members in good standing
  • May 1: LEED 2012 Fourth Public Comment is open
  • June 1-30: LEED 2012 Ballot Voting Period

Following the public comment period, final changes are incorporated and USGBC members interested in voting opt into a consensus group. This group acts as a proxy for the entire membership and votes on whether to approve proposed changes to the rating system. If changes pass the ballot, they become part of the updated standard. Those interested in voting must opt in to the consensus body by May 1 2012. To see what’s involved, click here. The final publication of LEED 2012 is expected in November 2012, at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo.

Alternate Compliance Path

In related news, the deadline is also fast approaching for those interested in committee membership on the ASHRE Standard 1891.1 Standing Standard Project Committee (SSPC). This ASHRE standard is the governing, technical reference document for the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), explicitly referenced as an alternate, engineered compliance path in the code. The SSPC is looking specifically for experts in the following fields: Site Sustainability, Builders/Contractors/Estimators/Construction Management, Acoustics and Noise Control, Facilities Management/O&M, Nexus of Water and Energy Use, and Materials & Resources. You can learn more about the commitment required from participants by visiting the ASHRE website here. (For a July 1, 2012 start date, applications are due by April 20).