LEED Version 4 and the Integrative Process

As many of you in the sustainable building field know, the US Green Building Council has rolled out a new version of the LEED ratings system, known as version 4.

One of the changes to the LEED ratings system from LEED 2009 to LEED v4 is the inclusion of a credit on the Integrative Process.  In the BD + C: Healthcare system, it is a Prerequisite and a Credit and in the BD + C: Homes system, its worth up to two points, instead of one. ADD ID +C

This is an entirely new credit category which requires an early analysis of energy, site, and water systems to inform design. This early analysis has to be documented and USGBC has provided the following worksheet to help work through that process.

Planners are well-suited for working within multi-disciplinary teams as we often speak the language of other allied disciplines. Planners have perspectives on the region and the community that extends well beyond the building. We can, and do, contribute to the recognition that the building is part of a much larger system.

The Integrative Process is designed to foster collaboration within the disciplines before, during and after construction. This becomes especially apparent when developing a building component that does not fit in to the standard design and construction roles, such as a rainwater harvesting system--many disciplines are involved in its successful completion: from design professionals to tradespeople. Urban planners can take a role, providing support and clarity to the layers of jurisdictional permits when addressing a complicated water system.

There is a lot of benefit from hearing from all voices throughout the life cycle.  These voices include those maintaining the building and those using the building after it is built. USGBC is recommending early roundtable discussions with facility managers, building users, members of the development team and planners, both public and private.

Of course, as a planner, it was great to see the urban planner as part of this list as well. Early involvement of a planner within the design team can illuminate land use planning issues early-on, when solutions can be found quickly and easily, instead of mid-way through the land use review process or during construction when solutions are more challenging.

So, if you are working on a LEED v.4 project, foster the Integrative Process by adding an urban planner to the conversation.