Tuesday, May 19, 2009

USGBC seeking public comment for LEED neighborhoods

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is seeking public comment for its LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) program through June 14.

The LEED ND rating system, which has been in a pilot phase since 2007, is designed to provide a national set of standards for neighborhood location and design based on the principles of smart growth, new urbanism, and green infrastructure and building.

Special emphasis is given to the site selection, design, and construction elements that relate the neighborhood to its landscape as well as to its local and regional context.

Certification would be much broader in scope than previous LEED designations, encompassing whole neighborhoods, fractions of neighborhood, multiple neighborhoods, or infill projects that complement the existing urban fabric.

This is the second round of public comments for the program.

Comments will be incorporated into the final draft document, which will be voted upon by USGBC members.

Approvals will also be sought through project partners the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the program could be up and running by late summer.

Locally, the Arbors of Pleasant Ridge and Greenhills residential redevelopment are registered in the pilot program.

In North America, 16 projects have been certified LEED ND, and 227 projects have been registered.