On November 20, 2019, an upcoming evolution of LEED was announced at the Greenbuild International Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  LEED Positive was unveiled by The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) with the vision to implement regenerative strategies into LEED’s existing framework to combat global issues such as water scarcity, air quality, and climate change.  The intent behind LEED Positive is the transition from a current building design that works to minimize environmental harm, to a regenerative design that would not cause any harm and improve the environmental quality of its immediate surroundings.  Since its inception in 1993, LEED has reshaped the development landscape through implementation of sustainable design and practices.  Taking this one step further, LEED Positive encourages buildings to “give back” by developing restorative systems that benefit humans and local ecosystems.

The USGBC has outlined the overarching guidelines that will make up the rating system:

  • Existing buildings and new construction will continue to be required to reduce carbon emissions and improve overall efficiency through strict energy goals
  • Existing buildings and new construction must demonstrate net-positive performance regarding carbon, energy, and other LEED categories
  • Existing buildings will be eligible to earn “category certificates”, specific certifications in areas such as water or energy use by utilizing the Arc, the free USGBC performance measurement software tool

Though the foundation of LEED Positive is being developed, actual implementation can take up to 20 years believes Melissa Baker, senior vice president of LEED Technical Core at USGBC.  Net-positive performance will be a gradual process because existing buildings may not satisfy net-positive milestones in all LEED categories through regenerative performance until 2040.  However, there will be continued upgrades to the current LEED v4.1 that will also offer sustainable options for developments that want to minimize their environmental impact.  For more information on LEED, contact Moe Fakih at VCA Green below.

Contributing Writer: Anthony Moreno

Moe Fakih, Principal

714-363-4700 x 501