When comparing LEED 2009 to the new v4, one will notice that overall, green cleaning lost a point.

“The USGBC keeps trying to put the points on the areas with the biggest impact and if you look at the rating system, more than half of the points are for energy-efficiency and energy-use,” says Mike Arny, president and director of LEED services, Leonardo Academy, Madison, Wis. “So what’s happened from the beginning is a gradual migration of points within LEED toward energy-use reduction and, as a result, emissions reduction. With so many points focused on energy, that just means everything else has to fight for the remaining points.”

While the loss of a point is unfortunate, it’s more important to realize that green cleaning is still required. The prerequisite that was added in 2009 remains and mandates that building service contractors have a green cleaning policy covering the use of green certified products and equipment, chemical storage and staffing contingency plans.

“LEED still highlights green cleaning and I would encourage people not to get wrapped up in the change in points,” says Arny. “From my point of view, once something is on the map with LEED, that really drives changed behavior in the marketplace. And I think whether there is one more or one less point, it won’t have much impact on that.”

Under LEED 2009, buildings earned one point by complying with IEQ Credit 3.1: Green Cleaning – High Performance Cleaning Program. Essentially, this credit was the formation of the green cleaning program that adhered to the required policy. With v4, this credit has been rolled into the prerequisite; cleaning personnel still have to carry out their green cleaning policy with their program, but they no longer receive a point for their actions.

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