Overview | USGBC LEED Zero Program

A global rating system for NZEBs

In developing the LEED Zero program, USGBC recognized two market realities: the design and delivery of zero energy buildings is becoming increasingly attainable for project teams around the world; and organizationally, USGBC has an incredible opportunity to help shape this growth by defining industry leadership – for zero carbon, zero water and zero waste in addition to zero energy – and recognizing green buildings achieving net zero in operations.

The webinar focusses on the requirements and process for pursuing certification, and highlight the opportunities and challenges for buildings pursuing net-zero goals. It also looks at the future anticipated development of LEED Zero, including usability improvements and updated program requirements that reflect technological and market advancement

Emma Hughes | Project Manager, USGBC

She collaborates with industry stakeholders to develop and refine the LEED green building rating system while also supporting the technical development and maintenance of LEED credits, guidance, and associated tool

Q1. How well-placed are LEED Gold or Platinum projects for achieving the LEED Zero status?

It varies by project. It really depends on how early in the project process Zero Energy goals are set and working closely with the project team to deliver a highly efficient building. We envision it is possible for both, you know new construction and existing building projects to meet this goal. We’re definitely not limiting it to just projects that have achieve LEED Platinum in the past because we understand that renewable energy procurement strategies can change over time and projects can improve the operations of their building if they’re really committed to it and willing to make that investment.

Q2. If a project is already TRUE  certified does it automatically qualify for the zero waste certificate?

For LEED Zero, we are recognizing TRUE Platinum project. TRUE is also an operational certification that looks at your project’s last 12 months of operation and includes a combination of waste tracking and waste diverted metric. So, in order to achieve TRUE certification, projects must divert more than 90% of their solid non-hazardous waste so it’s a high threshold.

Q3. A building certified under LEED version 3 is not a really high performing building. Can it apply and target the LEED Zero certificate. Are there any documentation or guidelines that actually show what is to be done for these buildings to actually reach there?

LEED Zero is open to projects that have certified under older versions of LEED. I would say the best resources in terms of optimizing your building efficiency would be to look at the LEEDfor operations and maintenance rating system. If you are pursuing LEED version for operations and maintenance, you’ll get a pretty comprehensive framework of best practices for improving your building operations reducing your energy use for reducing your water usage.

View webinar presentation-LEED Zero