HD Talks

LEED: a sneak peek into what’s next

Posted by on December 15, 2010 in Sustainability

When will there be LEED for Hospitality? It’s a question Sara Schoen, hospitality lead for the USGBC, gets all the time. Well an intimate group at a NEWH Greater New York event last night got a definitive answer: never. OK, calm down, it’s not to say they’re not working on some adjustments for the industry, but according to Schoen the USGBC is moving toward “a bookshelf approach”, actually trying to consolidate different markets into one LEED with differerent versions for different credits. “We are trying to work with what we have,” says Schoen.


With 1,072 hotels currently registered and 81 already certified, LEED has exploded in the hospitality sector over the past few years.

Now, after feedback from the Hospitality Adaptations Working Group, a group of industry professionals who acted as an advisory council to the USGBC, there are some new “adaptations” set to go into effect as early as 2011, and some others not yet approved, but definiely on the radar.

For example, for the next version of LEED there’s a proposed movement to separate building materials from FF&E, but Schoen notes it could take two years or so to implement.

Of note: a low-emitting materials credit will be in place in early 2011, and rapidly renewable materials are replaced with “bio-based”, which discludes cotton, unless it’s organic.

Have some changes you’d like to see in the new version of LEED? The document drafts of the new LEED are currently open online for public comment. And according to Schoen, it’s the best opportunity to get changes implemented for the industry.


Above, from left: Gregory Stanford, Rockwell; Sara Schoen, USGBC; and Dan Ryan, Sustainability Chair, NEWH Greater New York at last night’s event in the Rockwell Design Library.

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