LEED v5 at Greenbuild

CAGBC Green Building Team on October 10, 2023

Rating System/Standard
LEED v5
Theme
Certification updates

CAGBC attended Greenbuild last week, meeting with our counterparts at USGBC and members of the global green building community. One of the topics we’re most excited about is LEED v5, and the insights, updates and advancements being made to bring LEED v5 to market.  

As the latest version of the LEED green building certification program, LEED v5 is an important milestone in the effort to align the built environment with the Paris Climate Accord’s 2030 and 2050 targets and to address crucial issues such as equity, health, ecosystems, and resilience. 

This version of LEED is the result of deep and meaningful conversations with the LEED community – including with CAGBC and its members. We will continue to be active in supporting the development of LEED v5 and ensuring its applicability to the Canadian market.  

LEED v5 is scheduled to complete ballot and be fully available for use in 2025. USGBC is targeting 2030 for the release of the next version.

Here are a few of the details shared at Greenbuild this week.



LEED v5 for Operations and Maintenance: Existing Buildings draft 

The rating system for existing buildings, LEED v5 for Operations and Maintenance: Existing Buildings was released in draft form at the conference. You can download the draft here and if you have feedback, please reach out to out us at LEEDcoach@cagbc.org.   

Review the draft.




LEED v5 O+M beta 

USGBC is offering a LEED v5 O+M beta. Participants will have the opportunity to work alongside USGBC as they implement the rating system, identifying opportunities for refinement and providing critical feedback.  

If you are interested, complete the expression of interest by Oct. 20. 

Complete the interest form




More on LEED v5

LEED v5 is built around a restructured LEED rating system framework, which focused on system goals including climate action, quality of life, and ecological conservation and restoration. These areas of focus will guide the next several versions of LEED and serve to help prioritize how project teams are rewarded for pursuing various strategies. 

The Future of LEED principles identify a list of what LEED v5 and future versions can and must achieve, including:

  • Decarbonize swiftly to reflect the urgency of the climate crisis (decarbonization)
  • Inspire and recognize adaptive and resilient built environments (resilience) 
  • Invest in human health and well-being (health)
  • Create environments where diversity, equity and inclusivity thrive (equitable outcomes)
  • Support flourishing ecosystems through regenerative development practices (ecosystems) 

LEED strategies (prerequisites and credits) sit at the intersection of the system goals. The credit categories that have defined the rating system will continue to serve as the structure for credits and prerequisites in LEED v5.





LEED v5 on carbon emissions 

LEED v5 also sees the USGBC prioritizing reductions in carbon emissions, in line with the Future of LEED principles.  This includes strategies to reduce emissions from operations, materials, construction, refrigerants and transportation, with a focus on performance accountability. Those goals are reflected in the draft of LEED v5 for existing buildings and the concepts shared for design and construction, among them:

  • Simple, clear steps for delivering ultra-low-carbon buildings.
  • Addresses significant sources of carbon emissions in buildings including operational, embodied, etc.
  • Enables design teams to use the rating system to meet organizational net zero goals
  • Increases the carbon literacy of the industry.
    • All buildings in LEED v5 will get an operational GHG emissions projection for business-as-usual operational emissions through 2050, helping teams understand the future carbon impacts of their decisions.
    • Similar to the Zero Carbon Building standards, all buildings will have to report on their refrigerants and leaks.
    • Design teams can focus on meeting organizational goals and building performance standards for no or lowered GHG emissions as well as embodied carbon to meet the carbon caps for materials. 
  • Rewards existing buildings for getting on the road to ultra-low carbon.
    • Reducing the carbon emissions of current buildings to near zero is a long-term, complex process, and learning how to succeed is an emerging discipline. LEED v5 will reward buildings for creating long-term decarbonization pathways and 5-year capital plans. 
  • Continues rewarding efficient, low-carbon buildings and rewards new buildings for getting it right the first time.


Stay tuned for more news on LEED v5, and for opportunities to comment through CAGBC.  

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