2018 Quarterly LEED Addenda

Did you know that there could be some recent updates to the LEED rating systems that affect your projects that aren’t in those fat reference guides on your desk? Every quarter, USGBC releases a batch of addenda; essentially a round-up of new LEED Interpretations, new pilot credits or ACPs, and corrections to the reference guide. It feels like things are constantly changing in the LEED universe, but don’t worry, we’ve gathered and decoded the most important recent changes right here. This blog features 2018 LEED Addenda.


LEED Interpretations Inform Users 

LEED Interpretations are official answers to formal technical inquiries about implementing LEED, helping project teams understand how their projects can meet requirements and provide clarity on existing options. So far this year, five precedent-setting interpretations have been published.

5 Most Widely Applicable LEED Interpretations from 2018 Q1 + Q2

#1 | Renewable energy production

The first ruling of 2018 provides clarifications to the definition of a utility service area for the LEED v4 EA Credit Renewable Energy Productions if published data from the utility is not available. Project Teams may define a utility service area as:

(a) A radius within 25 miles (40 km) of the LEED project.
(b) The county or municipality where the project is located.


#2 | Title 24-2016 Homes projects

LEED Interpretation 10470 provides an alternate compliance pathway for LEED v4 Homes projects in California to use a state-based energy code to comply with the Energy and Atmosphere category instead of the standard approach.


#3 | Site Selection and the Integrative Process credit

If your team is working on a LEED v4 ID+C project and is renovating an existing space instead of considering purchasing a new space, don’t miss Interpretation 10471 – it provides key information on how to attempt the Site Selection requirements within the Integrative Process credit.


#4 | Ventilation Rates for Office Building Projects

In April, USGBC provided a ruling allowing a simplified calculation to be used for ventilation rates for office building projects – an exciting one since it applies to both v3 and v4 projects.


#5 | Download Documentation from Portfolio Manager before August 2018

And lastly, LEED Interpretation 10473 provides important guidance for project teams prior to the ENERGY STAR system update happening in August – mark those calendars!


To read the specifics on these new interpretations, and check out other changes and corrections that have been made to the rating system and reference guides, head over to the addenda database at USGBC’s website.

Pilot Credits Inspire Innovation

Pilot credits are a great way to facilitate the introduction of new credits into the LEED rating system by allowing projects to test more innovative credits that haven’t been through the complete drafting and balloting process. Do you have a great idea for a LEED credit that doesn’t exist in the rating system yet? You’re in luck – anyone who belongs to a USGBC member organization can propose a pilot credit!


Solar Access to Green Space

Need some inspiration? A recently published pilot credit rewards projects that preserve sunlight and avoid air contamination to public parks and green space near the proposed building. A point on the scorecard by allowing people who share the outdoor space access to fresh air and vitamin D – where do we sign up?Informing Design by Major


Credit Category Using Triple Bottom Line Analysis

Yet another pilot credit leaves a point up for grabs to any project that conducts a triple bottom line cost benefit analysis on at least two LEED credits in two different credit categories.


LEED v4 BD+C Alternative Compliance Paths for Europe (April 2018)

If you’ve ever wondered what LEED looks like in different countries, you aren’t alone. As USGBC expands its reach beyond the US, it’s also important to ensure the LEED rating system is adaptable and flexible to meet the needs of projects across the globe. That’s why USGBC has published a list of official Alternative Compliance Paths for LEED projects in Europe.

Europe HVAC Codes

From energy and air quality to location and transportation, European cities and building practices operate quite differently than those in the US. For example, Europe has their own energy performance standards, so it seems only right to allow projects in the region to replace ASHRAE requirements with their own, more rigid some may say, standards. Additionally, natural ventilation is common design practice for most European countries, so as long as the narrative is documented, the use of ASHRAE 62 need not be required either.


Public Transit Trumps Carpooling

When it comes to getting around, public transportation and cycling are far more popular than carpooling, so it can be counterintuitive for teams to accommodate carpooling parking spaces when they likely won’t be used, so a substitute of shared-use vehicles or discounted parking rate is acceptable. Check out all the European ACPs here.


GBES Keeps You Updated  

As green building professionals, it’s important for us to not only hold our LEED credentials, but to really stay on top of the constant changes and updates to the rating system. That’s what GBES is here for.

Check out GBES’s newest CE course added in 2018 Q2 Smart Cities:

Photo of futuristic smart city with bright LED lights, smart city, sustainable city in the future







Want to learn about something else? We have over 100 continuing education video courses to get you up to speed on the latest sustainability topics and trends. Click on the books below to browse our course catalog:

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