There is a new, higher prerequisite for minimum energy performance that applies to LEED v3 (v2009) for projects registered on April 8, 2016 and afterward. The newest rating systems from USGBC are always intended to be an improvement over the previous versions, but along with that comes higher standards.
Why this is a big deal:
- It is a change to a prerequisite, not a point. To achieve LEED certification under v3, this new minimum energy efficiency requirement must be met. It is not a credit that a project team can chose or chose not to attempt: it must be met to be certified.
- The other compliance paths that previously existed will no longer be an option – there is only one path to certification.
- The improved performance threshold increased from 10% to 18% for new buildings and from 5% to 14% for major renovations to existing buildings. This is a significant change to a requirement to LEED v3 certification (with one month notice).
This approved ballot measure impacts the following rating systems:
- LEED Building Design + Construction v3
- LEED Interior Design + Construction v3
This update does not impact LEED v3 Operations + Maintenance, Neighborhood Development, or LEED 2008 Homes.
Why do it:
This update is one of the ways the U.S. Green Building Council is continuing to push for higher standards in the green building industry. Although version 4 rating systems are published and available for projects to register under, it often takes the industry a while to adapt and accept the new rating system because it is accustomed to the previous. This energy update to LEED 2009 is a way to push for improved energy performance without requiring that builders and LEED professionals immediately adopt LEED v4.