It's not over yet

Departments - Editor's Focus

November 8, 2012
Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith


We’ve certainly all been witness to heated debates, differences of opinion, advocates for change and proponents of the status quo over the past several months. Perhaps you can even identify with one of those roles. The outcome of the elections (which have not been determined at the time I am writing this) will certainly have an effect on the conditions in which you will have to operate over the next several months or several years. While the elections may be over as you are reading this, it is not yet time to take off your campaigning hat just yet.

There is yet another vote on the horizon that could have serious implications for thousands of architects, general contractors, builders, engineers, recyclers and demolition contractors for years to come.

In June of this year, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) decided to delay member voting on the newest version of its LEED green building rating system. LEED 2012 was to have launched at the Greenbuild Conference in San Francisco taking place in November, but instead the now renamed LEED v4 has entered a fifth public comment period, which began Oct. 2 and runs through Dec. 10, 2012. There are several credits open for comment in the Material & Resources section of the proposed new LEED Scorecard that will directly affect how building materials are used and recycled.

On its website,, the USGBC says since the opening of the first public comment period, it has received more than 21,500 comments and recommendations.

In addition to the delay and additional public comment period, the USGBC will initiate a beta test of LEED v4. According to the USGBC website, the goal of the beta test, in direct response to market demand, is to have project teams across market sectors engage with a pre-ballot version of LEED v4 “to help USGBC improve aspects of the LEED v4 program, identify challenges with proposed documentation and areas in need of additional education development.”

If the sentiments of C&D recyclers voiced during the C&D Recycling Forum in Long Beach, Calif., in September are representative of the industry, then it is clear, the industry needs to step forward.

“We really made a big difference last time,” Jason Haus of Dem-Con Companies LLC, Shakopee, Minn., told attendees referring to the comment period that took place prior to the 2009 LEED Scorecard being adopted.

The USGBC also is encouraging stakeholders take the opportunity to comment. “We need your voice now during the public comment period, through beta and during the ballot,” the USGBC website urges. So while your political campaigning might be over, you can still let your voice be heard to the U.S. Green Building Council.