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 is encouraging project teams to operate beyond the status quo.

Canadians are stepping up, with over 700 registered projects to date. The early adopters have proven their abilities, and helped drive change in the industry including greater manufacturer transparency and disclosure. They have also taught us where the challenges lie, and where LEED can be improved. This knowledge is the basis for LEED v4.1.


Building Design and Construction

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Interior Design and Construction

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Building Operations and Maintenance

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LEED v4.1 BD+C and ID+C Beta is Now Available

In a market that is constantly evolving, one of the hallmarks of LEED is continuous improvement. Registration is open for the beta versions of LEED v4.1 BD+C and ID+C.

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 addressing carbon pollution. The draft rating systems provide new options and paths for project teams.

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

The first LEED v4.1 update was to the Operations and Maintenance rating system, released March 26, 2018. The updates will significantly streamline certification and put a greater focus on five data-driven performance outcomes; transportation, water, energy, waste, human experience.

Resources available:

LEED Recertification Guide

The newly released LEED Recertification Guide significantly reduces the effort of recertification by focusing on a small set of key performance outcomes. Taken together with the release of LEED v4.1 O+M, this represents a paradigm shift for LEED and for the market – a paradigm focused on proving building performance and using performance metrics to do so. Increasingly, the marketplace is asking for greater transparency about the sustainability of building operations. It will become an expectation that all buildings, including LEED new construction projects, prove their merit by assessing their impact on the environment and occupant health. CaGBC supports this paradigm shift.

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

If you have questions, or want to seek recertification, please contact us at LEEDCoach@gbcicanada.ca.

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. (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