Lance Davis, director of the sustainability office for the General Services Administration, announced that moving forward, GSA will require all projects to achieve a LEED Gold certification level from through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system of the U.S. Green Building Council.
The announcement occurred at the Green Legal Matters conference in New Orleans on Oct. 15.
When approached for more details, Davis indicated that the LEED Gold certifications will only apply on GSA-owned projects. When questioned in greater detail after his remarks, he was uncertain as to whether this change was currently reflected in GSA’s current documents and weblinks, but indicated the change was effective on Sept. 27.
A review of the current Sustainable Design Program information at GSA reveals no updates to GSA’s information, but rather restates the old standard that, “all GSA new construction projects and substantial renovations must achieve Silver certification through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System of the U.S. Green Building Council. Projects are encouraged to exceed LEED Silver and achieve LEED Gold.”
Davis stated that he believed that GSA-leased properties will still require only a LEED Silver certification.
The buzz amongst others at the conference indicated there are some open questions regarding how GSA will address leasing and LEED certifications, particularly regarding renewals. Given the significant role GSA plays with respect to both new construction and leasing in this region, GSA’s planned changes moving forward are likely to shape the commercial landscape moving forward in the D.C. area.