USGBC Announces “LEED Automation”

Green Building

USGBC Announces “LEED Automation”

Two weeks ago at Greenbuild, USGBC made a very interesting announcement regarding an upcoming development to LEED Online. In collaboration with various leading technology companies, USGBC has developed a new program aimed at streamlining and creating capacity for the LEED building certification process.

The program, referred to as “LEED Automation,” was explained as being similar to an app in the way it will serve project teams. According to USGBC, by integrating third-party applications with LEED Online, LEED Automation will serve three key functions:

  • “Provide automation of various LEED documentation processes”
  • “Deliver customers a unified view of their LEED projects”
  • “Standardize LEED content and distribute it consistently across multiple technology platforms”

Never before has third-party software applications been permitted to access and interact with LEED Online. Thus, LEED Automation will mark a radical departure from how project teams have used LEED Online in the past.

Joel McKellar at Real Life LEED has profiled several projects that were used as case studies at the LEED Automation unveiling at Greenbuild. I highly recommend reading his blog post on the matter.

More details will be released as the program is further developed, but LEED Automation is potentially a major step toward integrating LEED Online documentation with building information modeling (BIM) and various energy modeling platforms.

What does this mean to LEED project teams? Among other advantages, LEED Automation could make certain types of LEED documentation much more streamlined and efficient. Imagine the reduced soft costs for LEED documentation if teams could simply upload a BIM model straight to LEED Online via a software tool, which in turn read and automatically verified the model’s geographic location and/or simulation results in lieu of traditional LEED documentation “paperwork.” Such a tool could be immensely helpful for LEED project teams.

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