LEED v4.1

Today, LEED® v4 is the most rigorous green building rating system in the world. From improving energy performance to emphasizing human health and integrative building design, LEED encourages project teams to operate beyond the status quo.

Canadians are stepping up, with over 1,000 registered projects to date. Feedback from the market is creating change in the industry, driving greater manufacturer transparency and disclosure, and showing us where LEED can be improved. This knowledge is the basis for LEED v4.1.

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Rating Systems

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Interior Design
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LEED v4.1 BD+C and ID+C Beta

In a constantly evolving market, continuous improvement is a hallmark of LEED.

LEED v4.1 helps project teams meet changing market conditions, including updated energy performance expectations and code requirements, and a growing recognition of the critical importance of carbon pollution. The beta rating systems provide new options and paths for project teams.

Multi-unit residential buildings no longer have to choose between different rating systems. The LEED v4.1 Residential BD+C: Multifamily Homes rating system consolidates the requirements for all multifamily projects.

We’ve picked out our favourite updates for you!

Access to Quality Transit More thresholds are now available and weekend trips can be the higher of Saturday or Sunday, rather than the average. This is particularly beneficial for projects outside urban centers.

Cooling Tower Water Use Changes allow projects without cooling towers to earn credit under some circumstances, and projects can now be recognized for using recycled water for process use.

Energy Performance The most exciting change is the explicit addition of carbon pollution from building operations: nine points are now available for reductions in carbon emissions. And it’s worth noting that ASHRAE 90.1 2016 includes some important improvements.

Materials Credits – The changes that will have the greatest impact on project teams are within the Materials credits. The restructured credits now include options acknowledging efforts at varying levels, bridging the gap from where the market is currently to the goals identified in LEED v4.

  • There are a number of changes throughout the three Building Product Disclosure and Optimization credits. Our favourite? Under Sourcing of Raw Materials, Option 1 has moved to the pilot credit library and two points are now available for the more popular Option 2 Leadership Extraction Practices, with a lower entry threshold.

  • The holistic assessment of materials is being given a nudge with the addition of new thresholds for completing a whole-building life-cycle assessment (one point) and for achieving 5% reduction in impacts (two points). A 10% reduction is still required to earn three points, but now an extra fourth point is available for incorporating re-used or salvaged materials.

Indoor Air Quality Assessment Option 2, Air Testing This option is now split into two paths, allowing project teams to earn one point for testing particulate matter (PM) and inorganic gasses (CO, ozone), and/or a second point for testing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The number of VOCs tested has been decreased from 35 to 12.

BD+C Resources Available:

ID+C Resources Available:

LEED v4.1 O+M beta

LEED v4.1 O+M is simpler, easier, faster and less expensive. It’s a paradigm shift that recognizes the simplest way to evaluate existing buildings is to focus on measurable performance outcomes.

With performance data as your documentation, and less need for many prescriptive credits and prerequisites, LEED v4.1 O+M reduces the number of credits and prerequisites by over 50 per cent.

Now, LEED O+M assesses carbon emissions and is available to interior spaces. The impact of these changes is clear – LEED v4.1 O+M is fostering broader adoption and deepening the transformative power of LEED.

Resources available:

LEED Recertification

LEED Recertification is a simple, cost-effective means of verifying and improving performance while enhancing asset values and protecting your investments in sustainability.

Recertification is available to all occupied and in-use projects that have previously achieved certification under LEED — including BD+C and ID+C, regardless of their initial rating system or version.

This approach presents a simple and data-driven pathway that reassures projects that they are meeting ever-changing goals and staying on the cutting edge.

Review the Recertification Guide, which details the requirements and process.

If you want to seek recertification or track your performance at no cost, please contact us at LEEDCoach@gbcicanada.ca.

LEED v4.1 Residential Beta

LEED v4.1 is a new approach to residential projects, merging all residential focused rating systems, including BD+C, with the priorities of the residential market.

Credits with the highest value to consumers are prioritized, such as energy and water savings; improved comfort, health and well-being; and green and healthy materials. Options have also been added to lower both hard and soft costs to achieve certification.

LEED v4.1 Residential includes three project types:

  • Single Family Homes. New single-family homes that are attached or detached, and multifamily buildings with up to four units.
  • Multifamily Homes. Applicable to any predominantly multifamily building with two or more units and any number of storeys
  • Multifamily Homes Core and Shell. Multifamily buildings that are new construction or major renovation for the exterior shell and core mechanical, electrical and plumbing units, but not a complete interior fit-out. It is the appropriate rating system to use if more than 40 per cent of the gross floor area is incomplete at the time of certification.

Multifamily projects no longer have to choose between different rating systems, and multifamily projects can no longer use LEED v4.1 BD+C.

LEED v4.1 Residential BD+C: Single Family Homes is now available to project teams. Registration for LEED v4.1 Residential BD+C: Multifamily Homes and Multifamily Homes Core and Shell is not available in Canada as the certification model is being refined, however projects can continue to use the LEED v4 rating systems and substitute credits from LEED v4.1 Residential to benefit from the new features (see the Beta Guide below for guidance).

Resources for single family homes:

Resources for multifamily:

LEED v4.1 Cities and Communities

A new way forward for resilient, green, inclusive and smart cities, LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities provides a globally consistent way to measure and communicate performance. LEED v4.1 expands the solutions for LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities to include two new project types, those in the planning and design phase, and existing cities.

  • Expanded rating system now includes standards from the STAR Community Rating System and elements of key GBCI green energy and infrastructure rating systems like PEER and SITES.
  • Triple bottom line approach with scalable metrics that work at the city, county and regional scale.
  • Flexible pathways to measure and advance local progress, including performance standards and proven strategies and best practices for improvement.
  • Greater focus on improved social equity, quality of life and standard of living.

Resources for new and developing cities and communities:

Resources for existing cities and communities:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a beta rating system?
A beta rating system is a pilot, a chance to provide the market with updates earlier and to use project experience to inform and accelerate the development of a final set of balloted requirements.

How do I register?
When selecting your choice of rating system in LEED Online, simply select LEED v4.1 rather than LEED v4.

How do I upgrade my LEED v4 project to LEED v4.1?
Contact GBCI Canada customer service for a free upgrade.

Can I still register under LEED v4?
Project teams will continue to have the option of registering under LEED v4 while LEED v4.1 is being piloted. A date has not been set to close registration for LEED v4, continue to read the LEED Technical Bulletin for updates as LEED v4.1 development continues.

How do I participate in the public comment?
USGBC opened a Call for Proposals in 2018 in conjunction with the development cycle for LEED v4.1. You can read the USGBC responses to the submitted proposals in this document. A date has not yet been set for the public comment on LEED v4.1; however, we welcome your comments. Email customer service to provide your feedback. Ensure your email includes the rating system, credit of concern and suggestions for improvements.

Can I substitute a LEED v4.1 credit pathway on a LEED v4 project?
All LEED BD+C and ID+C v4.1 credits are available for substitution for LEED v4 projects. See the Beta Guides for special direction on substituting select credits. Multi-unit residential buildings may also benefit from substituting credits from the LEED v4.1 Residential BD+C: Multifamily Homes Rating System, see the Multifamily Beta Guide for details. LEED v4.1 O+M must be used as a whole rating system.

To use a substitution:

  1. In LEED Online, within each credit in your v4 project, you will see a checkbox that reads: “I am pursuing a LEED v4.1 credit substitution on this credit.” Check this box for each credit you plan to attempt.
  2. Complete the v4 PDF form as usual for the credit.
  3. Follow the credit specific instructions from the table in the Beta Guide, uploading any additional documentation, narratives or calculations as outlined in the documentation column.
  4. Submit credits for review following the standard process.

LEED v4 is supported by LEED Coach Canada, a collaborative customer service team with diverse building science backgrounds located across Canada.

For Canadian insights to your LEED questions, email LEEDCoach@gbcicanada.ca