Guide to LEED 2009At the right is a guide to LEED 2009—it’s bigger than most phone books. And it reads a little bit like the tax code (although frankly not as bad as some certification systems—I think FSC guidelines are probably an even more challenging slog.) Now mate this phone book with a college level calculus textbook, and you start getting closer to LEED v4.

I’m not even going to try to do the math. But I’m not kidding when I say some of this reads like an advanced math text—here are actual screen caps of the guidelines for calculating potential contributions:


















Doesn’t that make you miss the good old days of “If a train leaves Union Station at 3 p.m. and travels at an average rate of 60 mph…”?

Well, anyway, I thought I had a pretty good handle on the older LEED versions, so I am now trying to figure out how the flooring industry is going to work with LEED v4. The way I see it, the changes are really threefold:

1. A radical restructuring of the category system.

2. A significant increase in the need for Transparency/Third Party Certification for products to be considered compliant.

3. The addition and subtraction of familiar options.

I’ll look at each of these points in the next blogs, and we’ll see if we can figure all this out.



Elizabeth Baldwin has over 20 years of international wood sourcing experience. Very widely traveled, her résumé's "Special Skills" section includes "the ability to eat anything from raw horse to deep-fried scorpion." She serves as Metropolitan Hardwood Flooring's ( ECO (Environmental Compliance Officer) and deals daily with the "green alphabet soup" of today's industry: FSC, CARB, LEED, and much more. She blogs for Hardwood Floors on all things green (and, as she says, " 'grey' and 'blue' and almost every color except 'black and white.' Nothing in this world is black and white, particularly not 'green issues.'")