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Now is your chance to comment on LEED version 5, a pivotal update and the first major change since 2013. We give you the highlights below.

By Nadav Malin and Paula Melton

It’s here. So what’s new?

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released LEED v5 for its first public comment period on April 3, 2024, giving us our first detailed look at the next generation of the program that has defined green building in North America and around the world for more than twenty years.

LEED project managers are like intrepid explorers in search of … expiration dates? A longtime traveler discusses two big rules of thumb on project timelines, product documentation, and best practices for submittals.

by Dave Hubka

LEEDUser guest author Dave Hubka is sustainability practice leader at architecture firm EUA and has been working with sustainable design and LEED for 20+ years. 


Proposed EQ credits and prereqs would target inclusive design, biophilia, and a climate-change-adaptive approach to indoor air quality.

by Paula Melton

This is the fourth post in a series on LEED v5; it focuses on new construction. Part One provides an overview of the philosophy and underlying structure of all the LEED v5 rating systems. Part Two discusses what’s new in the already drafted O+M rating system. Part Three looks

The design and construction rating systems under v5 will draw on v4 pilot credits, requiring both energy efficiency and GHG reductions.

by Paula Melton

This is the third post in a series on LEED v5; it focuses on new construction. Part One provides an overview of the philosophy and underlying structure of all the LEED v5 rating systems.

Existing buildings are “where it matters most,” said USGBC CEO Peter Templeton at Greenbuild 2023. So they rolled out the v5 O+M draft first.

by Paula Melton

This is the second post in a series on LEED v5. Part One provides an overview of the philosophy and underlying structure of all the LEED v5 rating systems. Part Three looks at energy and operational carbon in BD+C and ID+C.

Paris-aligned decarbonization and resilience are half the weight. Cross-credit integration and new prereqs weave in equity, biodiversity, and more.

by Paula Melton

This is the first post in a series on LEED v5. Part Two provides an overview of the O+M draft. A later series will dive deeper on O+M. Part Three looks at energy and operational carbon in BD+C and ID+C. Part Four is about the proposed EQ approach.

Share your views with GBCI reviewers! No, not your ideas. We mean sample documentation that helps you show your work for the v4 Quality Views credit.

by Paula Melton

Everyone wants a window.

But the design strategies for ensuring everyone gets one—particularly in a shared open office—are far from straightforward. Plus, that extra glazing is hardly worth it if people see nothing but a brick wall or an acre of parked cars. Human beings who find themselves stuck in buildings all day long typically want a connection to something restorative or inspiring. 

Our guests reply to the Qs we didn’t get to during our July 26 event. Plus, here’s the recording if you missed it, and USGBC will host several v5 update sessions at Greenbuild.

by Paula Melton

What a pleasure it was hosting Sarah Talkington (LEED Steering Committee chair) and Keith Amann (past chair of the LEED Advisory Committee, past member of the LEED Steering Committee) for our recent LEEDuser coffee talk, What’s up with LEED v5?

Multifamily developers are embracing green building certifications, leading to greater energy efficiency, cost savings, healthier places to live, and more environmental awareness among tenants.

by Brittny Castillo

Buildings produce about 40% of annual CO2 emissions globally, according to an Architecture 2030 analysis of International Energy Agency data. With awareness of this fact growing in both the real estate industry and the general public, developers are becoming increasingly attracted to the idea of “going green” because they can tackle carbon emissions while also conserving energy and water and improving the marketability of their buildings. 

The Cool Roof Rating Council also vets wall materials. Their database of third-party-tested products can help teams earn Pilot Credit SSpc154, Heat Island Mitigation with Cool Walls.

by Paula Melton

Climate change is searing us with localized heat waves, and the planet recently reached its highest-ever average temperature—a record that was immediately broken and is sure to be broken again and again in the near future.

A fresh online platform for BIT, which targets low-performing existing buildings, draws users through simple, low-cost, step-by-step improvements.

by Paula Melton

LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (O+M) is designed to make pretty good buildings even better. But O+M has never really gone after low-performing buildings.

LEED for Homes project teams should take notice, and there’s a new path for maximizing innovation points under v4.1.

by Claudia Mezey

This quarter’s LEED Addenda were released by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) on April 21, 2023.   

The one-liner: no major changes, but LEED for Homes projects should review the new interpretations and international tips.  

The new, more streamlined process allows teams to use LEED v4 or v4.1 credit documentation to earn WELL v2 features and vice versa. Users will only need to submit proof once.

by Paula Melton

How do you like reinventing the wheel?

In the green building world, there are dozens of strategies and approaches that have to be figured out project by project, team by team, over and over again. 

Sometimes this makes sense: every building is different.

Sometimes it doesn’t.

USGBC has tweaked proposed changes to credit language that would introduce harder energy (and new carbon) requirements for v4 BD+C and ID+C.

by Paula Melton

It’s time to bring LEED v4—first released a decade ago and still very much in use—up to speed on current code expectations for energy performance. Proposed new metrics for the Optimize Energy Performance credit would also require project teams to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from operations in tandem with reductions in energy consumption.

A life-science developer and WSP have shared detailed WBLCA documentation, providing insight into the v4.1 process and submittal requirements.

by Paula Melton

When LEED v4 first arrived on the scene in 2013, it newly incentivized whole-building life-cycle assessment (WBLCA) that could demonstrate significant reductions in the project’s carbon footprint.