LEED v4.1

Have you been stalling to get started with LEED v4? Good Thing! Because now LEED v4.1 is available for Beta use. In short, LEED v4.1 aims to respond to market realities and further promote the building performance that our industry demands. This blog will show you how to get involved with LEED v4.1 O+M betaIt’s important to note that LEED v4.1 is not a full version change, but an incremental update to all the LEED rating systems, starting with Existing Buildings.


Four Years in the Making

While it might be hard to believe, LEED v4 was released into the market four years ago, so it’s only natural for USGBC to take the lessons learned from the adoption (or lack of adoption – v4 has seen only about 400 certifications since 2013) of the most recent version and incorporate them into a green building standard that can make the world a more sustainable place.


What you need to Know

As with any update to the LEED rating systems, it’s imperative for green building professionals to understand the technical changes at a deep level when providing guidance to customers, but as the updates were only released a few weeks ago, we wanted to provide GBES users a quick and simple update for what you need to know right now.


Q: How does this affect the LEED AP exam?

USGBC has stated there is no current plan to change the Credential Maintenance Program or make updates to exam content. If changes are made to credentials or exam content, there will be multiple announcements and a published timeline in advance of any implementation. We’ll keep a close eye on this and update you if any changes are planned.


Long story short: if you’re already using GBES materials to study for your upcoming LEED AP O+M exam, you can stay the course.

The Focus is on Performance

Sustainability is no longer a new idea, and certifying a building once every five years isn’t going to move the needle as much as it did 10 years ago when it comes to our changing climate. The green building movement is becoming more focused on using the technology we have at hand to ensure our buildings are saving energy and water every day.  


And if you haven’t already heard, USGBC created a data platform called Arcskoru.com – a tool that helps teams measure the performance of a building over time and enables users to benchmark their buildings against others in the platform. Arc is a great tool, but it is just that. It is not an independent rating system, and it does not supersede LEED Online. All project still register and certify through LEED Online.


Some Big Changes

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that one of the major changes in v4.1 is the introduction of performance-based prerequisites, and will link with Arc for some data management. Projects are able to achieve a maximum of 100 points, but this new version of LEED gives more weight to credit requirements that are directly measurable by the project, with 90 of the possible points allocated to the prerequisites that calculate points based on actual building data (the remaining 10 points can be earned by documenting compliance on credits).  A minimum score of 40 must be earned for each performance-based prerequisite – a new feature us professionals should get used to quick!


Remember, v4.1 is still in beta

Different from how v4 was released, which consisted of several rounds of public comment before the final version was balloted and approved, v4.1 is being tested in real-time. There is currently an open call for ideas on how to improve the rating system, so you can be an active part of the development. The proposals must be specific changes to existing language, and a rationale for the change must be provided. Once the rating system has been in use and users have provided feedback, the rating system will be finalized and balloted.


As it reads now, the rating system is

not final and there is an open call for improvements.

Don’t be shy, be an advocate and comment today!


Register for v4.1 Today!

Navigate to LEED Online and choose LEED v4.1 O+M: Existing Buildings or Interiors. A member of USGBC’s Technical Core Team will contact project teams immediately to lend support. Or, let us know you are considering LEED v4.1, and our team LEED Consultants that have worked on over 400 LEED projects can guide you and your project to LEED Gold or Platinum, every step of the way!  Just send us an email to cu**********@gb**.com and we can provide you with a free quote!


Credit by Credit: How to Use LEED v4.1

We’ve given you a lot to digest with the release of this new version of LEED so we don’t want to bore you with the nitty gritty technical differences from v4 just yet… but if you’re ready to take the next step and read more analysis about what to expect from 4.1 across all of the rating systems, head over to the SIG blog to read a breakdown of the four goal of LEED v4.1 from sustainability analyst Kunwar Rana.


Want a LEED credential to compliment your LEED project?

If you want to become a LEED Green Associate or LEED AP we can definitely help. We’ve been the #1 provider of LEED education since 2007, and we would like to help you easily earn your LEED credential(s). We just launced a new education platform that makes earning your credential easier than it ever has been before. Access this new education platform through new green building education community.

What is the step to become a user of LEED v4.1? If you don’t yet have a LEED credential check out our best deal GBES UNLIMITED that gives you all of the tools you need to easily earn and maintain any of the LEED credentials you desire.