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What You Need to Know About the Mandatory New LEED v4 Requirements

What You Need to Know About the New LEED v4 Energy Requirements

By Chloe Woodruff

What is changing? 

The U.S. Green Building Council recently announced an update to the LEED v4 energy requirements that includes more stringent language around building energy performance and emissions reductions. It will impact projects registered on or after March 1, 2024.

Which certification systems are impacted? 

The update includes new requirements for the following certification systems and credits:

  • Building Design and Construction (BD+C)
    • Minimum Energy Performance Prerequisite 
    • Optimize Energy Performance Credit
  • Interior Design and Construction (ID+C)
    • Minimum Energy Performance Prerequisite 
    • Optimize Energy Performance Credit
  • BD+C: Multifamily Midrise
    • Minimum Energy Performance Prerequisite 
    • Annual Energy Use Credit 
  • LEED Homes:
    • Home Size Adjustment (HSA)
Additional Information

The updated Minimum Energy Performance Prerequisite asks that projects achieve an updated percentage improvement over ASHRAE 90.1-2010. The credits listed above relating to energy use will also require a significantly higher percent improvement over ASHRAE requirements in order to earn the same number of points. The exact percentage will depend upon the certification system.

For example, a project pursuing LEED v4 BD+C: Core and Shell would now require an 8% improvement over ASHRAE as a prerequisite, and a 75% improvement to achieve 18 points. Under the current system, only a 2% improvement is required as a prerequisite, and a 47% improvement would earn the project those same 18 points.

The update also introduces a new dual metric for calculating energy performance:
project teams must consider both energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions to determine how many points they will earn.

How does this relate to LEED v5? 

LEED v5 was announced in October 2023, however, it is not scheduled to be fully available for use until 2025. It will offer a restructured framework that focuses on reducing operational, embodied, and transportation-related carbon emissions; prioritizes occupant health; and further addresses equity in the built environment. Our team does not expect LEED v4 to sunset for a few years.

When does the change go into effect? 

Only projects registered on or after March 1, 2024 will be required to use the updated requirements. Projects that register before March 1 will use the existing version of the credit and will not be impacted by the update.

Contact us today to register your LEED project before the requirements go into effect this March.