GreenChill on Tap for New LEED

THE NEXT ITERATION of LEED — LEED 2012 — is under development and may contain some important changes for food retailers regarding their refrigeration systems.

Next January, the third public comment period will begin for the 2012 version, which is expected to be adopted in November of 2012, said Nick Shaffer, manager of LEED for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Washington.

Throughout LEED's 11-year history, supermarkets have been hard-pressed to receive credits for reducing the refrigerant quantity (charge) and leak rate of their refrigeration systems. However, one of the proposals for LEED 2012 is that stores that achieve a gold-level certification from the Environmental Protection Agency's GreenChill Partnership can earn a point toward LEED certification. Among the requirements for GreenChill gold certification, a store must achieve a store-wide annual HFC refrigerant emissions rate of 15% or less.

The 2012 version of LEED would also allow LEED for Retail to cover Existing Buildings; LEED for Retail now only applies to New Construction (NC) or Commercial Interiors (CI). The GreenChill provision would fit any LEED for Retail designation.

Another proposal in the 2012 version would require stores with LEED NC to obtain LEED for Existing Buildings within five years or lose their certification.

Only members of USGBC can comment and vote on the LEED 2012 proposals; food retailer members include Price Chopper, Hannaford Bros., Safeway, Stop & Shop/Giant, Wal-Mart, Target, Weis Markets and Whole Foods Market.