IFMA urges FMs to comment on O&M in existing buildings for the LEED v5 draft by May 20

Posted by Janet B. Stroud — May 7, 2024 — The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) encourages facility managers (FMs) to submit comments on USGBC’s draft LEED v5 green building rating system update from a sustainable operations and maintenance perspective relating to existing buildings by the May 20 deadline.

LEEDv5Dean Stanberry, CFM, SFP, Chair, IFMA’s Global Board of Directors, issued the following statement:

IFMA's Dean Stanberry

Dean Stanberry, CFM, SFP, Chair, IFMA’s Global Board of Directors

We have an unprecedented opportunity to help shape a globally recognized standard that will significantly impact our industry and the way we manage our facilities.

The next version (v5) of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is open for comment now through May 20, 2024. Updates to the world’s most widely used green building rating system are only made once every five years, and the facility management community has been asked to weigh in from an operations and maintenance perspective.

Last year, both IFMA and our strategic partner, ISSA — The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, were invited to join the committee developing LEED v5, specifically LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED EB). It was the first time IFMA was asked to contribute on behalf of facility management — a true reflection of the elevated influence both IFMA and FM have in the wider buildings industry.

In the development phase, IFMA and ISSA guided some of the language toward operations and maintenance. However, the LEED EB draft proposal remains overly design-oriented in its credit categories and point allocations. We would argue that it is lacking in several key O&M aspects, and we contend that a performance rating should measure demonstrated performance over time rather than reward design aspirations.

Your participation in the LEED v5 public comment period will help ensure that FM priorities are addressed in a standard that will directly affect your operational activities. Don’t let your voice go unheard. We won’t have an opportunity to provide the FM perspective for another five years.

The LEED draft documents can be found on the LEED v5 website, or you may download the PDF directly from LEED O+M: Existing Buildings. USGBC has also published an article announcing the opening of public comment and an article on how to participate in public comment.

There are several ways to submit comments, but IFMA recommends using the LEEDuser LEED EB v5 Public Comment Forum site. You must register for a free LEEDuser account to post comments. Once verified on the site, simply click the “POST A QUESTION OR COMMENT” button.

LEEDuser Tutorial - Arrow

Image courtesy of IFMA.

For your reference, IFMA provides suggested comments for each credit category, along with the page reference in the LEED EB draft. You may copy each comment directly into your submission, edit as you deem appropriate or provide your own wording.

For more about USGBC’s LEED v5 draft, see “LEED v5 will drive decarbonization, quality of life and ecological conservation, says USGBC. IFMA urges FMs to comment on O&M in existing buildings by May 20” on The McMorrow Reports.