New LEED ratings could pose challenges for glass

Katy Devlin
February 20, 2009
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION : GREEN, MEETINGS AND EVENTS

The updated rating system for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program from the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, D.C., awards energy performance over daylighting, said Henry Taylor, Architectural Services Team manager, Kawneer Co., Norcross, Ga. The change could present challenges to industry manufacturers hoping to present glass as a green building material, he said during a Feb. 16 presentation at the Building Envelope Contractors Conference in Las Vegas.

“This should be a real wake up call for our industry,” Taylor said. “The market is looking for energy solutions and we have to react. … The market is asking us for more efficient glass and glazing.”

The updated program, LEED 2009, is set to roll out Sept. 1, Taylor said. The program includes several notable changes to credit weighting and point re-allocation that came about due to some vast discrepancies in the former point system; having a bicycle rack received the same points as having a solar panel, for example.

Taylor said the industry needs to develop a “game changer” with glass and glazing products that continue to provide daylight and views, while offsetting the electrical requirements and improving overall energy performance of a building. And it has to be affordable. “We’re standing on the edge of an opportunity. If you have the game changer, bring it forward,” he said.

Read about the new LEED 2009.