Healthcare designers, architects, facility owners, and contractors and used to lengthy schedules and spending large amounts of time on a project that won’t see its first patients until 2016, 2018, or beyond.

One deadline that might seem far off—but in reality is just 16 months away—is June 2015, the final date for the industry to transfer to using the new LEED v4 rating system.

In an article published in Healthcare Design’s November 2013 issue, contributing editor Barbara Horwitz-Bennett introduced our readers to some of the significant changes in LEED v4, which officially launched last fall at Greenbuild. Among them are stronger energy and water efficiency prerequisites and new transparency credits in the materials and resources category.

At the time, industry reaction to the newest version ranged from “They’ve gone too far” to “It’s a much needed step, even if we face fumbles.”

Most agreed that the healthcare industry, rarely an early adopter of change, would need some time to adjust. The USGBC also recognized the complexity of the updated version by allowing projects to continue to register under the current LEED 2009 system until June 1, 2015.

With the months ticking away, there’s a lot to learn.

During the first Healthcare Design Academy of the year, held Feb. 27-March 1, in Washington, D.C.,  we’ve gathered a rock-star panel of green building experts to delve into all things LEED, including Kim Shinn, principal/senior sustainability consultant, TLC Engineering; Brendan Owens, vice president of LEED Technical Development, USGBC; and Breeze Glazer, national research knowledge manager, Perkins +Will. (Click here for the full agenda.)

During a conference call with these panelists, it was easy to grasp their passion and deep knowledge of this subject, and in their session “Healthcare Sustainability Design: LEED for Healthcare/Center for Design Sustainability,” these experts will:

  • Identify and incorporate key lessons learned from the application of LEED for Healthcare 2009 on active projects around the U.S. and the world
  • Explain fundamental challenges to meeting rating system and credit requirements, and how projects have overcome those challenges
  • Identify the most appropriate project types for LEED HC as well ways to apply credits and concepts from LEED HC to other building types, including healthcare renovation projects
  • Describe changes that have been made to LEED HC 2009 in response to years of user experience as well as new approaches incorporated into LEED HC v4

But they’re also interested to know what you—the healthcare design industry—is most interested in.

What about your LEED project is keeping you up at night? What issues are you having while working with contractors in this new credit landscape? Do you know how to earn more points using the expanded water conservation credits?

Prior to our event, they’re asking you to send in questions and topics about LEED that you’re most interested in so they can fine-tune the presentation and use them to jump-start what we hope is a robust Q&A discussion at the end of the session.

Post your ideas below or send them to me at Then join us in Washington, D.C., and take part in the conversation.