News Brief

LEED for Healthcare Draft Open for Comments

After a long wait, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has opened a second public comment period for its LEED for Healthcare rating system.

The new LEED for Healthcare draft includes changes to almost every one of its 62 credits and prerequisites, although most of the changes are minor and are about aligning LEED for Healthcare with the LEED 2009 rating systems that were launched last year.

The more significant revisions were those made by the LEED for Healthcare Core Committee in response to comments it received during the first public comment period, which occurred in November 2007. Although most of these changes are unremarkable, some of the more significant ones include:

•SSc9.1: Connection to the Natural World—Places of Respite has been modified to allow interior spaces such as atria to contribute, rather than only outdoor areas.•WEc4: Water Use Reduction has become three credits: Building Equipment, Cooling Towers, and Food Waste Systems.•In IEQp2: Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) Control, the allowed smoking distance from areas such as entrances has been increased to 50 feet, from 25 feet.•A credit calling for views from inpatient units (excluding inpatient bedrooms) was removed.

In addition, two of the more innovative credits in the rating system were removed and placed into the LEED Pilot Credit Library, where project teams can test them and earn points for doing so via the Innovation and Design credit. These credits, now available as in pilot form for other LEED rating systems as well, are EAc7: Medical Process Equipment Efficiency, and MRc4.1: PBT Source Reduction—Dioxins and Halogenated Compounds.

Although LEED for Healthcare includes many credits that match their counterparts in LEED-NC and other LEED rating systems, the current draft retains many unique features, including a prerequisite (as well as a credit) calling for an integrative design process, credits for reducing mercury and other heavy metals in materials, and a credit for reducing contaminants from combustion.

The second public comment period is open from April 19 to May 18. The draft rating system, a summary of revisions, a comment form, and other documents are available on USGBC’s rating systems drafts webpage. If the second public comment period leads to further substantive changes, a third comment period will ensue. USGBC members will then have the opportunity to vote on the rating system by opting in to a consensus body.

For more information

U.S. Green Building Council


Published April 21, 2010

Roberts, T. (2010, April 21). LEED for Healthcare Draft Open for Comments. Retrieved from

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