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December 22, 2008
Beyond LEED 2009

A big welcome to new sponsor Calvert Jones, a leading mechanical contractor specializing in the green office environment. From energy efficiency retrofits and consulting, to indoor environmental quality, renewable energy strategies, and LEED consulting, Calvert-Jones' Green Team is on the scene to meet your energy and environmental needs


Plenty has been said and written about LEED 2009 – or v.3 as it is referred to internally at USGBC. Little, though, has been reported about the organization’s plans for the standard once this major change is digested by the green building community.

But that doesn't mean USGBC hasn't been looking ahead to 2011 and 2013. Part of v.3 was a decision to move to a two-year development cycle.

That means giving the industry a clearer idea of new standards under development -- and a chance to adopt those pending changes earlier. USGBC is “setting alternative compliance paths for certain standards,” Brendan Owens, VP of LEED Tech Development, tells Bisnow. The organization has offered alternative paths before “but we haven’t been explicit in what they mean for market development.”

For instance, consider the evolving materials and resources credit in LEED. This credit encompasses many moving parts, including local materials, materials with a higher recycled content, and so on.

“When you look at those things in the aggregate, you realize they are proxies for multi- attribute lifecycle assessment,” Owens says. So USGBC is creating a pilot credit called multi-attribute lifecycle assessment that will run parallel to the existing material and resource credit. “We have established a separate, performance-based path that will give the market the ability to see this is where USGBC is going and this is what the credit will look like in two years.”

The point is to get the market used to the changes so it is not disruptive to commercial operations.

Owens cannot say how quickly the lifecycle assessment will replace the existing credit. “That is the reason why we are defining these alternative paths. We want the market to shift in this direction—but we have to see how quickly it can move before we make it a standard.”

USGBC is in the final stages of testing this pilot, which will go live in January or February 2009.

Another pilot – not quite as far along – will be looking at existing emissions credits in LEED to develop a new standard that takes a more holistic approach, Owen also reports.

“We will be doing the same process for other credits, such as water or sites,” he says.

In the next Green Sheet: COO Mark Smith talks about LEED 2009’s new Web interface

National Building Museum’s
Green Community

The National Building Museum has been looking at sustainability since 2003 when it opened its first exhibit on the subject. That exhibit, and a second one in May 2006, focused on individuals’ contributions –both good and bad – to the environment.

This time NBM is looking at sustainability through an entirely different prism -- the community – with the recent debut of its latest exhibit, “Green Communities.”

This time around, the coordinating curator Reed Haslach says, NBM “wanted to get across that there are many changes that can be made when a community acts in tandem.” Bisnow caught up with Haslach to chat about the exhibit.

She talked about being ahead of the curve in sustainability: “We – meaning this generation – are hardly the first to think about these things. Throughout history, communities have focused on sustainability. In 80 AD, the Romans developed sophisticated water conservation systems, for example. We have a timeline in the exhibit that puts all of these milestones in perspective. It’s important to remember the past.”

She also said that sustainability takes a village: “It takes a community to affect change on a large scale. That requires a comprehensive approach involving many different pieces of a community. The Green Communities exhibit highlights several case studies on land-use choices in some communities, other communities that have aggressively pushed transit-oriented development, or novel ways of managing waste. What we tried to get across is that there are a myriad of different approaches.”

We asked what she wants developers to take away from the exhibit: “Density is a good thing. For instance, Portland is one of our highlighted communities. It has developed over the years an amazing array of public transit options that wouldn't have been possible if the city had been more spread out.”

Green Communities will be running until Oct 25, 2009. 


Grosvenor is investing in a $35 million renovation of the old Holiday Inn Hotel located at 5520 Wisconsin Ave. in Chevy Chase, to bring it up to Silver LEED standards. It will re-open as a Courtyard by Marriott in spring ‘09. The renovation will include expanding the hotel from 214 to 226 rooms and creating 1,500 new SF of retail space just north of Saks Jandel.

New green features at the hotel will include a reflective roof; energy-efficient HVAC system and lighting; new energy-efficient windows; low-VOC adhesives, paints, carpets, and sealants; use of regionally-sourced construction materials; construction demolition management; green housekeeping; a bike-to-work program for employees; low-flow shower heads and dual-flush toilets; and purchase of green power credits.

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National Building Museum
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