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A Cheat Sheet for BD+C v4.1 Credit Substitutions

From Dave Hubka of Rivion, this cheat sheet lets you know which credits on your v4 project are easier under v4.1.
Paula Melton
May 17, 2021

materials & resources leed substitution v4.1
Source: Dave Hubka, Rivion
As you probably know by now, it is possible on a v4 Building Design and Construction (BD+C) project to substitute any v4.1 credit or prerequisite, with no limit on the number of substitutions. If you are having trouble deciding which ones to upgrade, though, here is a handy cheat sheet from Dave Hubka of green building consulting firm Rivion.

As you can see from the excerpt shown, almost all the Materials & Resources credits are worthy of a look for substitution. But download the whole thing and you will find Energy & Atmosphere to be the opposite. (Upgrading energy credits may still be desirable for project teams wishing to pursue true environmental leadership.)

Keep in mind that, as always with LEED, the devil is in the details. Depending on your particular project situation, you may find these susbstitutions to be a poor fit. (For example, Protect or Restore Habitat is quite a bit easier under v4.1—unless you were planning on donating to a land trust; that option has been removed.)

Have your own thoughts on what makes sense to upgrade? Share them in the comments!

Date updated: 
Monday, May 17, 2021

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May 21, 2021 - 12:31 pm

The only thing predictable about LEED is its' unpredictability. 

100002492 | U.S. Green Building Council (usgbc.org)

Looks like the v4.1 credit might be an easier path now that the 'Certified Recycling Facilities' requirements has been pushed to the Exemplary Peformance section. 

May 19, 2021 - 9:33 am

Please note that this is project dependant and point dependant and location dependent; nothing is 'definately preferred'. Some projects specifics may differ from the scorecard I created. Sometimes one point is easier from the v4.1 credit YET two points are easier from the v4 credit.... and vice versa.

The goal of this tool is to help project teams determine which v4.1 credits might be a good option to explore - as well as IN credit options that might be achievable. 

LEED v4.1 did eliminate the construction waste prereq ...but i have found it difficult to find certified recycling facilities, especially on my international projects. So I am currently sticking with the v4 prereq/credit option at this time.

If there are any lessons learned / expert experience please post. For example, which v4.1 Interior Lighting option is the easiest to achieve? and which 3 of the 4 options are easiest to achieve?

thanks all!

May 18, 2021 - 9:41 pm

The latest addenda eliminates MR p2 if you use v4.1 for MR c5.

May 18, 2021 - 6:52 pm

If this cheat sheet is saying that the 4.0 version of the Interior Lighting credit is definitely preferred, then I would disagree. It really depends on the project and whether you a chasing one or two points. In many cases, the 4.1 version is going to be the easiest route to one point, and maybe to two points.