USGBC Seeks Input on LEED v4 Energy Requirement Changes

USGBC is updating the energy requirements of LEED v4, aligning them with the rigor of LEED v4.1 and focusing on the big picture of climate change and carbon emissions. These changes will follow the LEED development process, and a public comment period is now open through January 13, 2023.

The proposed energy update raises the threshold for energy performance and emissions reductions, and a new greenhouse gas emissions metric has been added. Plus, energy efficiency can now be measured using energy cost or source energy metrics, reducing some barriers to facilitating electrification. These updates to LEED v4 will apply to LEED for Building Design and Construction (BD+C) and LEED for Interior Design and Construction (ID+C), including Multifamily, and align with the more impactful targets in LEED v4.1, defining a current standard of leadership in the rating systems.

After the first public comment period, the LEED Steering Committee will review the comments and determine if any changes are needed to the proposed language. If changes are made, USGBC will open a second public comment period (which will also run for 30 days).

Once the rating system language is final, the changes will be brought to a member vote. When the ballot is complete, dates for the changes to go into effect will be announced. The effective date of this change will be 30 days after the ballot period, if approved. Any projects registering after the effective date will be held to the new requirements. Projects registered before the effective date will not need to comply with the new requirements.

Highlights of the Updates

1. Impacted credits/prerequisites in BD+C (Including Multifamily) and ID+C:

  • Energy and Atmosphere prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance: BD+C | ID+C
  • Energy and Atmosphere credit Optimize Energy Performance: BD+C | ID+C
  • Energy and Atmosphere credit Annual Energy Use: BD+C: Homes/Midrise

2. In both the credit and the prerequisite, the thresholds have been raised to encourage greater performance.

3. With this update, projects will demonstrate improvement calculated according to ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2010 using an energy-efficiency metric (source energy or energy cost) and a greenhouse gas emissions metric. Additional pathways exist for projects using newer versions of ASHRAE 90.1.

How to Comment

Comments can be submitted in two ways:

Public comment is open to everyone—there are no restrictions on who may view the changes and provide feedback.

Source: U.S. Green Building Council

Want news delivered right to your inbox?

Sign up for our free newsletter, delivered every other Thursday.

Scroll to Top