Log in

International Projects - alternative compliance path

A guideline for alternative compliance paths
Susann Geithner
October 24, 2011

According to the USGBC about 40% of the newly registered projects are now non-US projects. So finally the USGBC provides new guidelines for international projects.

A guideline for alternative compliance paths for the following credits:

LEED NC 2009

SS c1, SS c3, SS c4.1, SS c4.4, SS c6.1, SS c8

WE c1

MR c5

You rely on LEEDuser. Can we rely on you?

LEEDuser is supported by our premium members, not by advertisers.

Go premium for  »

IEQ P1, IEQ P2, IEQ c1, c2, c3.2, c4.3, c5, c6.2, c7.1, c7.2

Sorry nothing for EA P2 or c1. But I have heard at the Greenbuild that they are working on it. Also if you are using LEED CS, NC Retail, Schools or Healthcare you might still find these helpful.

You can find the draft of those guidelines here. http://bit.ly/tTjUr5

Also new a conversion tool kit and supplemental forms: http://bit.ly/tvnQHT

I haven't read through it yet, but I would like to heard what your think and please also post what else you'd like to see. The USGBC likes to read through your posts, too.

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a LEEDuser Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.


April 20, 2017 - 5:17 pm

The "LEED 2009 Global Alternative Compliance Paths Credit Table" (http://bit.ly/2ovIELH) does not include an ACP for C&S MRc6 Certified Wood, but there does exist a pilot for Legal Wood (http://bit.ly/2pIFFnR). The requirements for Legal Wood ("wood products from certified sources as defined by ASTM D7612-10") seem like they would suffice for an ACP. How would I go about confirming this as a valid approach?

May 4, 2017 - 11:36 am

Catie, I would suggest posting that question to the specific LEED credit forum that's involved. This forum seems a little quiet now.

December 8, 2014 - 6:51 pm

I opened the link at the top of this page, http://bit.ly/tTjUr5. It indicates that is a draft, dated 2011. Is now a published or new document like this?

February 3, 2015 - 1:20 pm

What if one wishes to use an ACP that is not explicitly published in any of the USGBC Documents ?

For example, we wish to use CIBSE AM10 and AM13 for IEQp1. These Standards are already approved for IEQc2 - there is therefore every reason why judicious use of CIBSE AM10 and AM13 should be allowed ?

December 10, 2014 - 8:13 am

In addition, the Global ACPs have been integrated into the LEED credit language you'll find right here on LEEDuser.

December 9, 2014 - 1:15 pm

Sean it helps a lot, thank you.

December 9, 2014 - 9:28 am

Hi Jorge,

The draft document you found on our archived page is no longer applicable. The published Global ACP reference guide supplements can be found at http://www.usgbc.org/resources?title=Global%20ACP. Additionally, the credit library at www.usgbc.org/credits contains the Global ACP supplements under the resources section for each credit with a Global ACP.

I hope this helps.

December 9, 2014 - 2:35 am

Yes there are about 7 guides with global ACPs:

August 27, 2014 - 9:27 am

Dear all,
I've got a reviewer comment on SSc6.1 stating that ". Provide a revised form with the pre- and postdevelopment runoff values along with all required documentation for the options chosen. Provide the ACP form which can be downloaded from the Credit Resource tab in LEED online."

While I couldn't find this form under the Credit Resources.
I tried sending feedback for this issue twice but I didn't get an answer.

Knowing that I'am using SSc6.1 v.02 form, If I upgrade to v.05 will I be able to find the ACP form maybe embedded in the new v.05 form?


August 27, 2014 - 9:50 am

Hi Omar,

The Version 5 form has all of the ACP material embedded in the form as "Option 2. Percentile Rainfall Events." If you use this form, you shouldn't need any additional resources to complete documentation for this credit. I hope this information helps.


May 29, 2014 - 9:30 am

Hello, I have to complete Table L-3. Sustainable Materials, but I have the costs of the materials used in the construction in shekels (Israel currency), my question is, should I change the amount in shekels to dollars? and if so, which date should I consider to exchange from shekels to dollars?
Thank you very much!

June 27, 2014 - 6:40 am

Our projects use Swedish krona when documenting cost for materials credits etc. As long as you keep the currency consistent through out your project documentation you should have no problem. Remember to keep the LEED cost in the preliminary form with the same currency as well.

Besides the materials credits are looking at precentages it shouldn't really matter what currency you have it in. I recommend to write a note in the preliminary forms so the reviewer is informed.

May 29, 2014 - 11:27 am

On 37 certified international projects, our experience is that cost must be in dollars. We have used a variety of exchange rate dates from bid acceptance date to actual purchase dates for materials, which was a far more complicated approach. Never had a review comment either way. Maybe others have?

March 19, 2014 - 3:15 pm


I would like to volunteer for the GBCI to create a new ACP for the Healthcare rating system, credit MRc4.2.

Could you please give me some advice?

March 19, 2014 - 3:46 pm

This is about proposing a standard that meets the maximum lead content for copper pipes required in credit MRc4.2.

After doing some research, I've found out that according to the Official Journal of the European Union, the thresholds are: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:174:0088...

Lead (0,1 %) (0.1%=1,000 ppm)
Mercury (0,1 %)
Cadmium (0,01 %)
Hexavalent chromium (0,1 %)

This would make RoHS compliant for copper pipes.

I am still working on finding a standard that meets the lead content for electrical wiring.

March 19, 2014 - 3:34 pm

Hi Gustavo,

Thank you for reaching out with this question. At this time we are not developing additional ACPs for individual credits, but please send me an email off of this chain with more details of what you would like to propose for this credit and we can discuss other options.


March 19, 2014 - 7:18 am

Hello, I downloaded a Rating System CS with ACPs for projects outside the US (very useful since it includes metric equivalents etc) - but I cannot find this document on the USGBC site. I can only find the LEED NC global ACPs (from october 2012).
Does anybody know if the LEED CS ACPs for projects outside the US is still applicable, and where I can find it again (for updates) if it is?

March 19, 2014 - 2:00 pm

Yup! Thanks for this and we will only use the global ACPs henseforth!

March 19, 2014 - 10:26 am

Thanks! Great link! It's very helpful.

March 19, 2014 - 10:12 am

Hi Amanda,

Thanks for reaching out with this. I know that it can be a little bit confusing. The LEED 2009 ACPs for Projects Outside the U.S. were replaced with the LEED 2009 Global ACPs in 2012, and these were fully integrated into the credit language for each credit with an ACP. In this process, a few ACPs were removed. As Michael mentioned, the most up-to-date language is available in the LEED credit library at usgbc.org/credits. You can also find all LEED 2009 Global ACP resources at http://www.usgbc.org/resources?title=Global%20ACP.


March 19, 2014 - 9:08 am

OK- thanks both of you - The Rating System I have has more ACPS than listed on the matrix (or un the BD+C guide), I will check in the Credit Library too.

March 19, 2014 - 8:50 am

The ACPs appear to have been fully integrated into the online credit library. That should be the "ultimate" source of what is currently applicable.
I haven't done a comprehensive check, but the ACP for IEQp1 under CS was there so I presume that the rest are as well.

March 19, 2014 - 7:48 am

LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction For the Design, Construction and Major Renovations of Commercial and Institutional Buildings Including Core & Shell and K–12 School Projects

March 19, 2014 - 7:41 am

Sorry I missed that you were just looking for CS ACP's. Try this ACP matrix - http://www.usgbc.org/sites/default/files/LEED%202009%20List%20of%20ACPs.pdf

March 19, 2014 - 7:35 am

Hi Eric,
Thanks for your suggestion - I have definitely looked through everything that comes up and I have not found the specific LEED CS version. I will assume that it is still applicable for the moment (there are alot more ACPs than for the new NC version that just came out!)

March 19, 2014 - 7:23 am

ACP's are still applicable. Although there is a lot of information to dig through, you can do a search on the USGBC website and find ACP documents. Example-http://www.usgbc.org/search/acp

October 3, 2013 - 4:21 am

EUROPE: Pre-rinse spray valve 1.6gpm or lower

Our project is an office bldg with a Kitchen Restaurant in Europe.
We are looking for pre-rinse spray valves of 1.6gpm (6L/min) or lower available in France/Switzerland/Germany...
Our Plumbing Engineer is having a lot of troubles finding a low flow version from the European manufacturers he knows.
Has anyone found an American manufacturer that distributes here or an European one?
Thank you all in advance,

April 14, 2014 - 8:44 am

I did find one manufactured in the US but is being distributed in France or Germany... if that helps I can look it up and send it to you.
And I would agree with Jens on the add-on tap.

April 11, 2014 - 3:36 am

I have seen a project using the 5PR-1S00 by equip.tsbrass.com. They do have add-on faucets as well. I would consider the add-on tap a separate tap not required to comply with the 1.6 gpm.

April 9, 2014 - 10:04 am

Dear Charline,
did you finally find a low-flow pre-rinse spray valve in Europe? If yes which brand?

Another question regarding the requirement of 1.6 gpm maximum flow for the pre-rinse spray valve in commercial buildings: if there is an additional tap included in the pre-rinse spray valve equipment (so 2 taps: one designed to remove food waste from dishes prior to dishwashing + one standard tap) should the additional tap follow the requirement also?

Thanks in advance!

January 10, 2014 - 11:45 am

Just a bit of an additional note. Most faucets exibit a pretty steady flowrate at quite a wide pressure range, making my powerlaw method null and void. However, I did come accross Neoperl perlators, which can reduce flowrates wonderfully.

October 7, 2013 - 10:57 am

Thanks Jean for the clarification.
I checked the database, really helpful! Unfortunately did not find any pre-rinse spray valve... but we will keep looking!

October 7, 2013 - 8:58 am

1) Just to clarify...that was just an example (I didn't check the rated pressure for these calcs...also, these calcs are IMO an acceptable conversion approximation. That does not mean that they have been given the green light by USGBC. Manufacturer datasheets are always best.)

2) If you're looking for a product, http://www.greenbuildingproducts.eu/datenbank/ is a good database.

October 7, 2013 - 4:53 am

Hi Jean and Eric,
Thanks for your answers.
Yes if you know a product that meets the requirements that would be really helpful.
The current pre-rinse valve specified by the engineer has a flow of 18 l/min at 3 bar, which is way too high for LEED...
But I will certainly let him know that we need a 6L/min at 5bar as you mentioned Jean so that he can run the calc for other products!

October 7, 2013 - 4:37 am


I think she is looking for a product that meets the requirements?

October 7, 2013 - 4:25 am

I think you'll find that this is not the case. The flow rate just seems lower because it is given at a different pressure. Ask the engineer to check that the flow at pressure relation is the same. If the manufacturer has no data at the american pressure, you need to convert a European flow at European rated pressure to a American flow at American rated pressure. You could employ the Power-law relations (as a good approximation), i.e. Flow=C*dP^n. Your engineer should know all of this.

Quick example:
EU: faucet flow 6L/min at 7bar
American: 5bar...what is the flowrate

Flow=C*dP^n...solve for C
(6) =C*(7)^0.5
therefor C = 2.267786838

Solve American flow using C
Flow=5.0709 L/min

July 3, 2013 - 1:02 pm

I have been looking for the ACP forms but have not been able to find them. Based on the ACP Documentation Guidance and information provided in posts below, they should be in the Credit Resources section in LEED Online but they are not there. Could anyone please tell me where I could find them? Thank you!

July 10, 2013 - 2:56 pm

Hi Johanna,

When the Global ACPs were released in July 2012, they replaced the "ACPs for Projects Outside the U.S." The ACP for SSc4.4 was actually removed when this took place. To make sure you are using the most accurate and up-to-date ACPs, I would be sure to explore the resources available at this link: http://www.usgbc.org/resources?title=Global%20ACP. One resource that may be particularly helpful is the table identifying which credits have global ACPs in all applicable rating systems.


July 8, 2013 - 5:22 pm

That´s a good idea Sean.

It will work for sure in most cases. But I´ve just checked the newest forms available. For example, SSc4.4, the latest form (v04) does not include ACP documentation. Any thoughts on where I could find the excel resources for documenting ACP?

Many many thanks. :)

July 8, 2013 - 5:02 pm

Hi Johanna,

I would recommend updating your forms to the newest version since there will likely be corrections for other issues as well. This is the best way to capture the requirements of the ACPs in your documentation. Once the new forms were released, the ACP forms were removed from LEED Online.

However, if you have already made significant progress in the LEED Online forms you are currently using, you can use these forms and download the new LEED online forms to use as supplemental documentation for the ACPs. To do this, you will need to attach the new form as part of your supplemental documentation and ensure that you have identified how you have met the ACP requirements.


July 8, 2013 - 4:25 pm

Hi Sean!!

Thank´s for your response.
I understand this is applicable to the latest form version in LEED Online. What if I haven´t got the latest form, is there any other way to have access to the ACP forms?

Or, would I have to update LEED Online forms?

Thanks in advance.

July 8, 2013 - 4:12 pm

Hi Johanna,

With the launch of the Global Alternative Compliance Paths last July, the ACP forms were replaced with options in the LEED Online forms for identifying that the project is using an ACP. You do not have to fill out a separate form when submitting with an ACP.

Additional resources for the ACPs can be found at http://www.usgbc.org/resources?title=Global%20ACP.

I hope this helps, please let us know if you have further questions.

June 7, 2013 - 4:28 am

Hi all,
We are working on a master site project with three single buildings in the block. Two office buildings are pursuing LEED CS and one hotel building is pursuing LEED NC. They share the same parking lot, but it might be divided for three buildings according to the designer. As the requirement in SSc4.4, the hotel building will need 5% preferred parking for carpools/vanpools. But we want to attempt this credit as a campus credit. So how many preferred parking spaces do we need, 5% of hotel parking or 5% of total parking spaces?

May 22, 2013 - 10:48 am

Dear all,
Having worked on a LEED EBOM project in Helsinki, Finland, where we were unfortunately not able to fulfill one of the prerequisites (EAp2), motivated me to dedicate my bachelor's thesis to this particular topic. It is my intention now to create a "guidebook" on how to successfully implement those prerequisites, which are the most challenging in projects outside the US.
Is there anyone who would be willing to share his/her experiences with me over Skype or telephone interview? I am particularly interested in experiences regarding the implementation of prerequisites in projects outside the US.
I would very much appreciate any help and I will of course share my findings with you, too!
Best wishes,

May 14, 2013 - 4:41 am

I am working with a project in the UK and need to convert BTU/(hr ft2 F) used for the U-values in the ASHRAE Standard to W/(m K). Is there any tool to do this conversion or any method you could recommend me to do this? I keep getting very weird result with the converters I find in the internet.
Thank you for your help!!

May 14, 2013 - 5:38 am

Thank you very much!! This was really helpfull.

May 14, 2013 - 5:17 am

We used the same as Eric gives you.
Also to find :

look under Thermal conductivity

Good luck in unit conversions generally! ;)

May 14, 2013 - 5:09 am

Try SI for HVAC&R-ASHRAE-May 1999
Multiply-By-To Obtain

March 12, 2013 - 10:53 am

Hi all,

we are working on a LEED EBOM project for a university building near Helsinki, Finland.

At the moment we are struggling to fulfill the requirements of EAp2. After entering all data into the Portfolio Manager it became clear that our performance is not good enough to meet the prerequisite (weather normalized source EUI of 145.0).

After talking to a staff member of Energy Star and after reading through documents on the methodology of Portfolio Manager we are quite confused. EAp2 requires comparing the energy performance to the national average whereas Portfolio Manager compares it to U.S. buildings. So what sense does that make for international facilities? The CBECS which is the basis for mostly all benchmarks in Portfolio Manager didn’t include any international facilities and as the staff member of Energy Star explained our project building is compared to U.S. buildings of that type and how they would operate under Finnish weather conditions.

Did anyone of you have similar problems? Or did anyone use a local benchmark instead of Portfolio Manager?

P.S. our project building is only 2 years old, no energy-intensive spaces, all computers are Energy-Star labeled and by comparing our energy consumption to 4 other universities in Finland, our performance was in all cases better.

I’m grateful for any hints or tips.


April 30, 2013 - 2:57 am

Hi Jean,
sorry for the late reply. I just checked the internet for weather data so this was probably not that reliable. In the meantime we also dropped the project since we don't meet EAp2 and the weather data was my last attempt to find a reason for our high energy consumption figures.
But thank you for your info anyways!