A second public comment period is now open for the USGBC’s proposed 2012 updates to the LEED green building rating system. Comments will be accepted until Sept. 14.

An initial public comment period on LEED 2012, which ran from Nov. 8, 2010 through Jan. 19, 2011, gathered more than 6,000 comments and recommendations, according to USGBC. In reviewing the draft with this feedback in mind, the USGBC also included feedback from project teams who have been pilot testing draft credits, says Scot Horst, senior vice president, USGBC. The updated draft and responses to comments from the first round are now online for review.

Credits in the proposed LEED 2012 systems have been allocated points based on a weighting process similar to that used for updates in 2009, but also based on impact categories developed for use in LEED. According to USGBC, the weightings/point allocation process informed many changes, including organizational changes proposed for the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and Materials and Resources (MR) credit categories. In the IEQ section, changes seek to provide a more refined focus on air quality, lighting, and acoustics, as well as improved incentives for testing and verification. MR credit category changes seek to fill gaps in the data used to support life cycle assessment.

Other changes include a draft for LEED 2012 for Neighborhood Development that splits that system into two systems: LEED for Neighborhood Development Plan and LEED for Neighborhood Development.

USGBC will hold member webcasts in the coming weeks detailing the changes between the first and second public comment drafts. Members can register for the free webcasts by visiting the USGBC Members Only Page as usgbc.org.

The webcast schedule is as follows:
August 8: General Overview, Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency
August 10: Integrative Process and Location & Transportation
August 15: Energy & Atmosphere and Performance
August 17: Materials and Resources
August 22: Indoor Environmental Quality
August 24: LEED for Homes