Log in

Comment Here: Second Public Draft on v4 Energy Stringency

USGBC has tweaked proposed changes to credit language that would introduce harder energy (and new carbon) requirements for v4 BD+C and ID+C.
Paula Melton
April 17, 2023

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.

Since releasing the first draft of new language on v4 energy performance for public comment in November 2022, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has pulled back a bit on how deep the new energy and carbon reductions might need to be. This is especially true for Homes: Multifamily Midrise.

The redlines for the second public comment show the following changes:

  • Minimum Energy Performance, LEED v4 BD+C Schools, Retail, Hospitality, and Warehouses—The new minimum reduction from ASHRAE 90.1-2010 baseline is 10% (instead of 15% in the first draft). Minimums stayed steady between drafts for Core & Shell, Data Centers, and Healthcare.
  • Annual Energy Use, LEED v4 Multifamily Midrise—There are smaller GHG reductions at most of the point thresholds compared with the original public comment draft. Also, home-size incentives have changed (see the next bullet).
  • Annual Energy Use, LEED v4 Homes (and Multifamily Midrise)—Carrots and sticks associated with home size have changed. In the second public comment draft, projects can get a point for every 7% decrease in conditioned space and lose a point for every 7% increase in conditioned space when compared with the Energy Star for Homes baseline (originally it was 4%). 

This second draft appears to upend the original timeline for the v4 energy ballot, which included voter registration beginning on April 1 and a vague “spring” vote. Spring now seems highly unlikely.

As before, you can leave your feedback in the comments section of this blog post. We will close it when the official comment period ends on May 19, 2023.

Date updated: 
Monday, April 17, 2023


May 3, 2023 - 2:59 pm

Bryna, I am feeling impatient as well! At the same time, I see why they need to retrofit v4, as it were. Even after v5 is balloted and in place, it won't sunset for years. The pace of change can be SO frustrating.

May 3, 2023 - 12:37 pm

It is far past time for USGBC to publish updated requirements for energy performance and carbon emissions reductions, but it seems that it would be so much more appropriate to do so with a v5 ballot rather than changing the rules on v4.  Please, let's get v5 out there for ballot ASAP and leave v4 alone.