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We’re very pleased to announce that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has approved a new Pilot Credit – Informing Design Using Triple Bottom Line Analysis – for projects seeking certification under the LEED Green Building Rating System™.  The intent of this pilot credit is to demonstrate the monetized triple bottom line (TBL) i.e. financial, social, and environmental value of LEED design strategies using empirical evidence to inform the design process.  This type of economic assessment will encourage the most socially and environmentally impactful built environments.
The requirements of the credit are to conduct triple bottom line cost-benefit analysis (CBA) on at least six LEED credits. This includes analyzing the financial/economic, environmental, and social costs and benefits associated with the selected credits.

By measuring incremental benefits and costs of various designs and LEED credits pursued, a project team can determine and communicate the overall value of the sustainable design, assess and prioritize the individual LEED credits to support more impactful design, understand TBL trade-offs, and cost-justify design decisions.

While this approach is widely used in infrastructure capital planning and policy decision making, there are elements that are complex and require a certain level of financial and economic knowledge.  That being said, there are ways to earn this credit with limited effort and cost, and our next email will provide information about this innovative and much-needed credit.

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