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LEED v4
Commercial Interiors
Energy and Atmosphere

Optimize energy performance

LEED CREDIT

CI-v4 EAc2: Optimize Energy Performance 1-25 points

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Credit language

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© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

To achieve increasing levels of energy performance beyond the prerequisite standard to reduce environmental and economic harms associated with excessive energy use.

Requirements

Establish an energy performance target no later than the schematic design phase. The target must be established as kBtu per square foot-year (kWh per square meter-year) of source energy use.

Choose one of the options below.

Option 1. Tenant-level energy simulation (1–25 points)

Analyze efficiency measures during the design process and account for the results in design decision-making. Analysis can include energy simulation of efficiency opportunities, energy simulation analyses for similar projects, or published data from energy analyses performed for similar projects (such as AEDGs).

Analyze efficiency measures focused on load reduction and HVAC-related strategies; passive measures are acceptable. Project the potential energy savings and cost implications for all affected systems.

Follow the criteria in EA Prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance to demonstrate a percentage improvement in the proposed tenant project performance rating compared with the baseline.

Table 1. Points for percentage improvement in energy performance

Interior construction

Points

4%

4

5%

6

6%

8

7%

10

8%

11

9%

12

10%

13

11%

14

12%

15

13%

16

14%

17

15%

18

16%

19

17%

20

18%

21

20%

22

22%

23

24%

24

28%

25

OR

Option 2. Prescriptive compliance (1–16 points)

Use any combination of the strategies in any or all of the categories below.

Base Building Systems (2-6 points)

For base building systems that serve the project, as well as any applicable improvements that are part of the project, document compliance with the following according to base building type and climate zone. For projects outside the U.S., consult ASHRAE/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1–2010, Appendixes B and D, to determine the appropriate climate zone. 

  • Building Envelope, Opaque (2 points)
    Comply with the recommendations in the appropriate ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide for all roofs, walls, floors, slabs, doors, vestibules, and continuous air barriers.
  • Building Envelope, Glazing (2 points)
    Comply with the recommendations in the appropriate ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide for all vertical fenestration.
  • HVAC Equipment Efficiency (2 points)
    For all base building HVAC systems that serve the project, comply with the recommendations in the appropriate ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide.
HVAC Systems (2 points)
  • HVAC Zoning and Controls (2 points)
    For the tenant fit-out of spaces, provide a separate control zone for each solar exposure and interior space. Provide controls capable of sensing space conditions and modulating the HVAC system in response to space demand for all private offices and other enclosed spaces (e.g., conference rooms, classrooms).
Interior Lighting Power (1–4 points)
  • Lighting Power Density (1–4 points)
  • Reduce connected lighting power density below that allowed by ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1–2010, either using the space-by-space method or applying the whole-building lighting power allowance to the entire tenant space. Points are awarded according to Table 2.

Table 2. Points for percentage reduction in lighting power density

Percentage below standard LPD

Points

10%

1

15%

2

20%

3

25%

4

Interior Lighting Controls (1–2 points)
  • Daylighting Controls (1 point)
  • Install daylight-responsive controls in all regularly occupied daylit spaces within 15 feet (4.5 meters) of windows and under skylights for at least 25% of the connected lighting load. Daylight controls must switch or dim electric lights in response to daylight illumination in the space.
  • Occupancy Sensor Lighting Controls (1 point)
  • Install occupancy sensors for at least 75% of the connected lighting load.
Equipment and Appliances (1–2 points)
  • ENERGY STAR Equipment and Appliances (1–2 points)
  • Install ENERGY STAR appliances, office equipment, electronics, and commercial food service equipment (HVAC, lighting, and building envelope products are excluded from this credit) or performance equivalent for projects outside the U.S.. Calculate their percentage of the total (by rated-power) ENERGY STAR–eligible products in the project. Points are awarded according to Table 3.

    Table 3. Points for installing ENERGY STAR equipment and appliances

    Percentage of ENERY STAR products

    Points

    70%

    1

    90%

    2

See all forum discussions about this credit »

What does it cost?

Cost estimates for this credit

On each BD+C v4 credit, LEEDuser offers the wisdom of a team of architects, engineers, cost estimators, and LEED experts with hundreds of LEED projects between then. They analyzed the sustainable design strategies associated with each LEED credit, but also to assign actual costs to those strategies.

Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

Frequently asked questions

The energy cost offset from onsite renewable energy cannot be used to demonstrate compliance with the prerequisite. Can this cost offset still be credited to the proposed energy cost savings for this credit?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

See all forum discussions about this credit »

Addenda

7/25/2019Updated: 7/27/2019
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Step 1. Evaluate Base Building Systems for AEDG Compliance -

Delete "four" from the first sentence that begins "Determine whether one of the..."

Add the sentence below after the sentence "AEDG criteria apply to the base building property, not the tenant space.":

"(Exception: Building opaque envelope and glazing system options may be applied to the tenant space using the AEDG if the building meets all AEDG Criteria except the gross floor area. For example, an office space in a 120,000 ft2 office building may document points for meeting the AEDG prescriptive opaque envelope and glazing system requirements even though the building gross area exceeds the 100,000 ft2 AEDG criteria)."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/1/2014Updated: 3/29/2018
Regional ACP
Description of change:
Add the following as a USGBC-approved equivalent standard for projects outside the U.S.

"Projects in Canada may instead demonstrate a percentage improvement in the proposed building performance rating compared with the baseline according to the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) 2011. The same percentage improvement in energy performance is required to meet the Prerequisite, and the same points for percentage improvement in energy performance are applicable for the Credit.

The following conditions (where applicable) must be met. Note that unless otherwise noted, CanQUEST (the Canadian energy modelling software based on eQUEST that performs NECB 2011 compliance runs) does not implement these conditions correctly and would require corresponding modifications to the Reference case.

1. Comply with mandatory requirements of ASHRAE 90.1-2010
ASHRAE 90.1-2010 mandatory requirements must be met, in addition to the performance path limitations referenced in the NECB 2011 Sections 3.4.1.2, 5.4.1.2 and 6.4.1.2. In cases where ASHRAE and the NECBC reference requirements concerning the same item, the more stringent requirement shall be adhered to.

2. Apply fenestration area convention similar to ASHRAE 90.1-2010
Maintain the same FWR (as defined by NECB, including doors) for the Reference as exists in the Proposed Design, up to the prescribed maximum. If the Proposed Design’s FWR exceeds the prescribed FWR, scale down the fenestrations in the Reference case accordingly.

3. Apply skylight area convention similar to ASHRAE 90.1-2010
Maintain the same SRR for the Reference as exists in the Proposed Design, up to the prescribed 5% maximum. If the Proposed Design’s SRR exceeds 5%, scale down the skylights in the Reference case accordingly.

4. Model proposed and reference outside air similar to ASHRAE 90.1-2010
Proposed and reference (baseline) outside air rates shall be modelled as per ASHRAE 90.1 – 2010 (G3.1.2.6).

5. Apply ASHRAE kitchen exhaust demand ventilation requirements
Provide for the same demand ventilation requirements as described in ASHRAE Appendix G3.1.1.d.

6. Apply ASHRAE’s chiller heat recovery requirements
Provide for the same chiller heat recovery requirements as applies to ASHRAE.

7. Apply supply air temperature reset controlled based on warmest zone
Reset the minimum supply air temperature to satisfy the cooling requirements of the warmest zone, as stipulated in NECB Section 5.2.8.8. Note that this control setting is already corrected in CanQUEST for the Reference case.

8. Account for uninsulated structural penetrations if they exceed 2% of net wall area
The 2% allowance may be applied, but based on the net opaque wall area, not the entire building envelope area.

9. Follow ASHRAE/LEED rules for renovations to existing buildings
Model existing components consistent with ASHRAE and LEED provisions.

10. Account for all anticipated energy use in building
Fully account for all energy end-uses in the energy performance modeling."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/2/2018
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project is subject to ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 for code compliance. To pursue Option 1: Whole Building Simulation, is there a methodology for documenting additional energy performance for LEED v4 projects regulated by ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013?

Ruling:

Yes, projects applying Option 1: Whole Building Simulation, and regulated by ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 may document additional energy performance improvement under LEED v4 EA credit Optimize Energy Performance as described below. The Appendix G modeling method must be used for the LEED submission, even if the Energy Cost Budget method is used to document local code compliance.

Projects may calculate the Equivalent ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Performance improvement as:
Equivalent performance Improvement = % better than ASHRAE 90.1-2013 + Additional Percent Savings

Where Additional Percent Savings is shown in Table 1:

Table 1: Additional Percent Savings for ASHRAE 90.1-2013

Project Type1 Additional Percent Savings
NC-Office 5%
NC-Retail (except restaurant/grocery) 5%
NC-School 6%
NC-Health Care 3%
NC-Restaurant / Grocery 3%
NC-Hospitality 5%
NC-Warehouse 1%
NC-Multifamily 3%
NC-All Other 2%
CS-Office 3%
CS-Retail (except restaurant/grocery) 3%
CS-School 6%
CS-Health Care 1%
CS-Restaurant / Grocery 2%
CS-Hospitality 3%
CS-Warehouse 0%
CS-Multifamily 1%
CS-All Other 1%
CI-Office 3%
CI-Retail (except restaurant/grocery) 4%
CI-School 6%
CI-Health Care 2%
CI-Restaurant / Grocery 3%
CI-Hospitality 4%
CI-Warehouse 0%
CI-Multifamily 1%
CI-All Other 2%

1 Mixed use buildings shall use the weighted average Additional Percent Savings based on the gross enclosed floor area associated with each building type. Unfinished spaces not submitted in the CS rating system shall use the CS values. Data center space must always be considered “All Other”.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/17/2016
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can commercial interiors projects use the existing envelope in the baseline energy model in Option 1 of LEED v4 ID+C Energy and Atmosphere (EA) prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance and EA credit Optimize Energy Performance?

Ruling:

Yes. As an alternative to modeling the ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G prescriptive new construction envelope requirements in the Baseline, project teams may use the existing envelope in the baseline energy model per ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Table G.3.1.5 (baseline) f, subject to revised percentage improvement thresholds for (EA) prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance and EA credit Optimize Energy Performance outlined below.

Project teams modeling the existing envelope in the baseline must demonstrate 5% performance improvement under EA prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance, and must demonstrate a 2% performance improvement above established performance thresholds in EA credit Optimize Energy Performance to earn the corresponding number of points. For example, project teams must demonstrate 6% performance improvement to achieve 4 points, 7% performance improvement to achieve 6 points, 8% performance improvement to achieve 8 points, etc. Project teams must demonstrate 30% performance improvement to achieve 25 points under EA credit Optimize Energy Performance.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2014
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The ENERGY STAR program is continuously releasing new and updated standards for products. Project teams may be unaware that a product they are purchasing is subject to an ENERGY STAR standard. Can a project team exclude equipment covered by recently developed ENERGY STAR product specifications from the prerequisite and credit calculations? If all equipment must be included, are teams required to use the rated power or can teams “discount” the rated power to reflect average consumption or actual operating power demand? And how should international projects apply this to new ENERGY STAR product specifications or other equipment or appliances where an ENERGY STAR option is not available locally?

Ruling:

As required in LEED Interpretation 10044, all equipment classified as eligible by ENERGY STAR must be included in the calculations. Equipment that is procured within two years of the effective date of the first (i.e. Version 1.0) ENERGY STAR product specification for that equipment category may be included or excluded at the discretion of the project team; however, all equipment within that category must be included or excluded consistently. Refer to the ENERGY STAR product specification(s) for the effective date.

Calculations may be completed using either the rated power OR the average annual power consumption, but the metric selected must be consistent for all equipment included in the calculations. For the purposes of demonstrating equivalency to the ENERGY STAR product specification by average annual power consumption, equipment purchased may use no more than the average annual energy consumption of the equivalent ENERGY STAR-qualified product as determined by the appropriate ENERGY STAR savings calculator. The average annual power consumption for purchased equipment may be demonstrated by manufacturer documentation or calculated from actual equipment operating data and anticipated use profiles.

For Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) equipment:

If using the rated power methodology, the UPS “rated power” for the LEED Calculation may optionally be derated to 35% of the UPS Rated Output Power to more accurately reflect the relative energy usage associated with UPS equipment compared to other Energy Star equipment.

If using the average annual power consumption methodology, the UPS average annual power consumption (in units of kWh/year) shall be calculated as:
UPS Annual Power Consumption = 6,600 x Power x (1-EffAVGMIN)

Where:

Power is the UPS Rated Output Power in units of kW.

EffAVGMIN is determined consistently with the ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements, or 93.7% if unknown.

For projects located outside of the United States, the following approved standards may be used in place of ENERGY STAR for equipment categories covered by these standards: EU ENERGY STAR, TCO, Blue Angel. Additionally, equipment classified as eligible by ENERGY STAR but not ENERGY STAR-qualified may be deemed equivalent if the equipment has been labeled by a local energy label and has been rated by the labeling program to use no more than the average annual energy consumption of the equivalent ENERGY STAR-qualified product as determined by the appropriate ENERGY STAR savings calculator.

Updated 01/05/18 for rating system version applicability and to provide additional calculation options for Uninterruptible Power Supply equipment.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/2/2018
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project is located in California. To pursue Option 1: Whole Building Simulation, is there a methodology for documenting additional energy performance for LEED v4 projects regulated by Title 24-2016?

Ruling:

Project Type1
Additional Percent Savings

NC-Office
7%

NC-Retail (except restaurant/grocery)
8%

NC-School
7%

NC-Health Care
0%

NC-Restaurant/Grocery
0%

NC-Hospitality
8%

NC-Warehouse
0%

NC-Multifamily
8%

NC-All Other
0%

CS-Office
5%

CS-Retail (except restaurant/grocery)
7%

CS-School
5%

CS-Health Care
0%

CS-Restaurant/Grocery
0%

CS-Hospitality
7%

CS-Warehouse
0%

CS-Multifamily
7%

CS-All Other
0%

CI-Office
6%

CI-Retail (except restaurant/grocery)
7%

CI-School
6%

CI-Health Care
0%

CI-Restaurant/Grocery
0%

CI-Hospitality
7%

CI-Warehouse
0%

CI-Multifamily
7%

CI-All Other
0%

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/1/2014
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

There is significant confusion, and seemingly contradictory LEED Interpretations on the required methodology for addressing “purchased” on-site renewable energy, and/or purchased biofuel that is not considered on-site renewable energy within the LEED energy model. For renewable fuels meeting the requirements of Addendum 100001081 (November 1, 2011) or other purchased renewable fuels, how should purchased on-site renewable energy be treated in the LEED energy model? How should purchased bio-fuels (meaning it I not fossil fuel but is used in a similar manner to bio-fuel) be treated in the energy model?

Ruling:

For any on-site renewable fuel source that is purchased (such as qualifying wood pellets, etc.), or for biofuels not qualifying as on-site renewable fuel sources that are purchased, the actual energy costs associated with the purchased energy must be modeled in EA Prerequisite 2: Minimum Energy Performance and EA Credit 1: Optimize Energy Performance, and the renewable fuel source may not be modeled as "free", since it is a purchased energy source.

For non-traditional fuel sources (such as wood pellets) that are unregulated within ASHRAE 90.1, use the actual cost of the fuel, and provide documentation to substantiate the cost for the non-traditional fuel source. The same rates are to be used for the baseline and proposed buildings, with the following exception: If the fuel source is available at a discounted cost because it would otherwise be sent to the landfill or similarly disposed of, the project team may use local rates for the fuel for the baseline case and actual rates for the proposed case, as long as documentation is provided substantiating the difference in rates, and substantiating that the fuel source would otherwise be disposed of.

When these non-traditional fuel sources are used for heating the building, the proposed case heating source must be the same as the baseline case for systems using the non-traditional fuel source, and the project team must use fossil fuel efficiencies for the Baseline systems, or provide evidence justifying that the baseline efficiencies represent standard practice for a similar, newly constructed project with the same fuel source.

Updated 8/7/17 for rating system applicability.

Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
See all forum discussions about this credit »

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USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

To achieve increasing levels of energy performance beyond the prerequisite standard to reduce environmental and economic harms associated with excessive energy use.

Requirements

Establish an energy performance target no later than the schematic design phase. The target must be established as kBtu per square foot-year (kWh per square meter-year) of source energy use.

Choose one of the options below.

Option 1. Tenant-level energy simulation (1–25 points)

Analyze efficiency measures during the design process and account for the results in design decision-making. Analysis can include energy simulation of efficiency opportunities, energy simulation analyses for similar projects, or published data from energy analyses performed for similar projects (such as AEDGs).

Analyze efficiency measures focused on load reduction and HVAC-related strategies; passive measures are acceptable. Project the potential energy savings and cost implications for all affected systems.

Follow the criteria in EA Prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance to demonstrate a percentage improvement in the proposed tenant project performance rating compared with the baseline.

Table 1. Points for percentage improvement in energy performance

Interior construction

Points

4%

4

5%

6

6%

8

7%

10

8%

11

9%

12

10%

13

11%

14

12%

15

13%

16

14%

17

15%

18

16%

19

17%

20

18%

21

20%

22

22%

23

24%

24

28%

25

OR

Option 2. Prescriptive compliance (1–16 points)

Use any combination of the strategies in any or all of the categories below.

Base Building Systems (2-6 points)

For base building systems that serve the project, as well as any applicable improvements that are part of the project, document compliance with the following according to base building type and climate zone. For projects outside the U.S., consult ASHRAE/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1–2010, Appendixes B and D, to determine the appropriate climate zone. 

  • Building Envelope, Opaque (2 points)
    Comply with the recommendations in the appropriate ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide for all roofs, walls, floors, slabs, doors, vestibules, and continuous air barriers.
  • Building Envelope, Glazing (2 points)
    Comply with the recommendations in the appropriate ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide for all vertical fenestration.
  • HVAC Equipment Efficiency (2 points)
    For all base building HVAC systems that serve the project, comply with the recommendations in the appropriate ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide.
HVAC Systems (2 points)
  • HVAC Zoning and Controls (2 points)
    For the tenant fit-out of spaces, provide a separate control zone for each solar exposure and interior space. Provide controls capable of sensing space conditions and modulating the HVAC system in response to space demand for all private offices and other enclosed spaces (e.g., conference rooms, classrooms).
Interior Lighting Power (1–4 points)
  • Lighting Power Density (1–4 points)
  • Reduce connected lighting power density below that allowed by ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1–2010, either using the space-by-space method or applying the whole-building lighting power allowance to the entire tenant space. Points are awarded according to Table 2.

Table 2. Points for percentage reduction in lighting power density

Percentage below standard LPD

Points

10%

1

15%

2

20%

3

25%

4

Interior Lighting Controls (1–2 points)
  • Daylighting Controls (1 point)
  • Install daylight-responsive controls in all regularly occupied daylit spaces within 15 feet (4.5 meters) of windows and under skylights for at least 25% of the connected lighting load. Daylight controls must switch or dim electric lights in response to daylight illumination in the space.
  • Occupancy Sensor Lighting Controls (1 point)
  • Install occupancy sensors for at least 75% of the connected lighting load.
Equipment and Appliances (1–2 points)
  • ENERGY STAR Equipment and Appliances (1–2 points)
  • Install ENERGY STAR appliances, office equipment, electronics, and commercial food service equipment (HVAC, lighting, and building envelope products are excluded from this credit) or performance equivalent for projects outside the U.S.. Calculate their percentage of the total (by rated-power) ENERGY STAR–eligible products in the project. Points are awarded according to Table 3.

    Table 3. Points for installing ENERGY STAR equipment and appliances

    Percentage of ENERY STAR products

    Points

    70%

    1

    90%

    2

Cost estimates for this credit

On each BD+C v4 credit, LEEDuser offers the wisdom of a team of architects, engineers, cost estimators, and LEED experts with hundreds of LEED projects between then. They analyzed the sustainable design strategies associated with each LEED credit, but also to assign actual costs to those strategies.

Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

In the end, LEED is all about documentation. LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit, for premium members only, saves you time and helps you avoid mistakes with:

  • Calculators to help assess credit compliance.
  • Tracking spreadsheets for materials purchases.
  • Spreadsheets and forms to give to subs and other team members.
  • Guidance documents on arcane LEED issues.
  • Sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions.
  • Examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects.

The energy cost offset from onsite renewable energy cannot be used to demonstrate compliance with the prerequisite. Can this cost offset still be credited to the proposed energy cost savings for this credit?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

7/25/2019Updated: 7/27/2019
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Step 1. Evaluate Base Building Systems for AEDG Compliance -

Delete "four" from the first sentence that begins "Determine whether one of the..."

Add the sentence below after the sentence "AEDG criteria apply to the base building property, not the tenant space.":

"(Exception: Building opaque envelope and glazing system options may be applied to the tenant space using the AEDG if the building meets all AEDG Criteria except the gross floor area. For example, an office space in a 120,000 ft2 office building may document points for meeting the AEDG prescriptive opaque envelope and glazing system requirements even though the building gross area exceeds the 100,000 ft2 AEDG criteria)."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/1/2014Updated: 3/29/2018
Regional ACP
Description of change:
Add the following as a USGBC-approved equivalent standard for projects outside the U.S.

"Projects in Canada may instead demonstrate a percentage improvement in the proposed building performance rating compared with the baseline according to the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) 2011. The same percentage improvement in energy performance is required to meet the Prerequisite, and the same points for percentage improvement in energy performance are applicable for the Credit.

The following conditions (where applicable) must be met. Note that unless otherwise noted, CanQUEST (the Canadian energy modelling software based on eQUEST that performs NECB 2011 compliance runs) does not implement these conditions correctly and would require corresponding modifications to the Reference case.

1. Comply with mandatory requirements of ASHRAE 90.1-2010
ASHRAE 90.1-2010 mandatory requirements must be met, in addition to the performance path limitations referenced in the NECB 2011 Sections 3.4.1.2, 5.4.1.2 and 6.4.1.2. In cases where ASHRAE and the NECBC reference requirements concerning the same item, the more stringent requirement shall be adhered to.

2. Apply fenestration area convention similar to ASHRAE 90.1-2010
Maintain the same FWR (as defined by NECB, including doors) for the Reference as exists in the Proposed Design, up to the prescribed maximum. If the Proposed Design’s FWR exceeds the prescribed FWR, scale down the fenestrations in the Reference case accordingly.

3. Apply skylight area convention similar to ASHRAE 90.1-2010
Maintain the same SRR for the Reference as exists in the Proposed Design, up to the prescribed 5% maximum. If the Proposed Design’s SRR exceeds 5%, scale down the skylights in the Reference case accordingly.

4. Model proposed and reference outside air similar to ASHRAE 90.1-2010
Proposed and reference (baseline) outside air rates shall be modelled as per ASHRAE 90.1 – 2010 (G3.1.2.6).

5. Apply ASHRAE kitchen exhaust demand ventilation requirements
Provide for the same demand ventilation requirements as described in ASHRAE Appendix G3.1.1.d.

6. Apply ASHRAE’s chiller heat recovery requirements
Provide for the same chiller heat recovery requirements as applies to ASHRAE.

7. Apply supply air temperature reset controlled based on warmest zone
Reset the minimum supply air temperature to satisfy the cooling requirements of the warmest zone, as stipulated in NECB Section 5.2.8.8. Note that this control setting is already corrected in CanQUEST for the Reference case.

8. Account for uninsulated structural penetrations if they exceed 2% of net wall area
The 2% allowance may be applied, but based on the net opaque wall area, not the entire building envelope area.

9. Follow ASHRAE/LEED rules for renovations to existing buildings
Model existing components consistent with ASHRAE and LEED provisions.

10. Account for all anticipated energy use in building
Fully account for all energy end-uses in the energy performance modeling."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/2/2018
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project is subject to ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 for code compliance. To pursue Option 1: Whole Building Simulation, is there a methodology for documenting additional energy performance for LEED v4 projects regulated by ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013?

Ruling:

Yes, projects applying Option 1: Whole Building Simulation, and regulated by ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 may document additional energy performance improvement under LEED v4 EA credit Optimize Energy Performance as described below. The Appendix G modeling method must be used for the LEED submission, even if the Energy Cost Budget method is used to document local code compliance.

Projects may calculate the Equivalent ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Performance improvement as:
Equivalent performance Improvement = % better than ASHRAE 90.1-2013 + Additional Percent Savings

Where Additional Percent Savings is shown in Table 1:

Table 1: Additional Percent Savings for ASHRAE 90.1-2013

Project Type1 Additional Percent Savings
NC-Office 5%
NC-Retail (except restaurant/grocery) 5%
NC-School 6%
NC-Health Care 3%
NC-Restaurant / Grocery 3%
NC-Hospitality 5%
NC-Warehouse 1%
NC-Multifamily 3%
NC-All Other 2%
CS-Office 3%
CS-Retail (except restaurant/grocery) 3%
CS-School 6%
CS-Health Care 1%
CS-Restaurant / Grocery 2%
CS-Hospitality 3%
CS-Warehouse 0%
CS-Multifamily 1%
CS-All Other 1%
CI-Office 3%
CI-Retail (except restaurant/grocery) 4%
CI-School 6%
CI-Health Care 2%
CI-Restaurant / Grocery 3%
CI-Hospitality 4%
CI-Warehouse 0%
CI-Multifamily 1%
CI-All Other 2%

1 Mixed use buildings shall use the weighted average Additional Percent Savings based on the gross enclosed floor area associated with each building type. Unfinished spaces not submitted in the CS rating system shall use the CS values. Data center space must always be considered “All Other”.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/17/2016
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can commercial interiors projects use the existing envelope in the baseline energy model in Option 1 of LEED v4 ID+C Energy and Atmosphere (EA) prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance and EA credit Optimize Energy Performance?

Ruling:

Yes. As an alternative to modeling the ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G prescriptive new construction envelope requirements in the Baseline, project teams may use the existing envelope in the baseline energy model per ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Table G.3.1.5 (baseline) f, subject to revised percentage improvement thresholds for (EA) prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance and EA credit Optimize Energy Performance outlined below.

Project teams modeling the existing envelope in the baseline must demonstrate 5% performance improvement under EA prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance, and must demonstrate a 2% performance improvement above established performance thresholds in EA credit Optimize Energy Performance to earn the corresponding number of points. For example, project teams must demonstrate 6% performance improvement to achieve 4 points, 7% performance improvement to achieve 6 points, 8% performance improvement to achieve 8 points, etc. Project teams must demonstrate 30% performance improvement to achieve 25 points under EA credit Optimize Energy Performance.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2014
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The ENERGY STAR program is continuously releasing new and updated standards for products. Project teams may be unaware that a product they are purchasing is subject to an ENERGY STAR standard. Can a project team exclude equipment covered by recently developed ENERGY STAR product specifications from the prerequisite and credit calculations? If all equipment must be included, are teams required to use the rated power or can teams “discount” the rated power to reflect average consumption or actual operating power demand? And how should international projects apply this to new ENERGY STAR product specifications or other equipment or appliances where an ENERGY STAR option is not available locally?

Ruling:

As required in LEED Interpretation 10044, all equipment classified as eligible by ENERGY STAR must be included in the calculations. Equipment that is procured within two years of the effective date of the first (i.e. Version 1.0) ENERGY STAR product specification for that equipment category may be included or excluded at the discretion of the project team; however, all equipment within that category must be included or excluded consistently. Refer to the ENERGY STAR product specification(s) for the effective date.

Calculations may be completed using either the rated power OR the average annual power consumption, but the metric selected must be consistent for all equipment included in the calculations. For the purposes of demonstrating equivalency to the ENERGY STAR product specification by average annual power consumption, equipment purchased may use no more than the average annual energy consumption of the equivalent ENERGY STAR-qualified product as determined by the appropriate ENERGY STAR savings calculator. The average annual power consumption for purchased equipment may be demonstrated by manufacturer documentation or calculated from actual equipment operating data and anticipated use profiles.

For Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) equipment:

If using the rated power methodology, the UPS “rated power” for the LEED Calculation may optionally be derated to 35% of the UPS Rated Output Power to more accurately reflect the relative energy usage associated with UPS equipment compared to other Energy Star equipment.

If using the average annual power consumption methodology, the UPS average annual power consumption (in units of kWh/year) shall be calculated as:
UPS Annual Power Consumption = 6,600 x Power x (1-EffAVGMIN)

Where:

Power is the UPS Rated Output Power in units of kW.

EffAVGMIN is determined consistently with the ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements, or 93.7% if unknown.

For projects located outside of the United States, the following approved standards may be used in place of ENERGY STAR for equipment categories covered by these standards: EU ENERGY STAR, TCO, Blue Angel. Additionally, equipment classified as eligible by ENERGY STAR but not ENERGY STAR-qualified may be deemed equivalent if the equipment has been labeled by a local energy label and has been rated by the labeling program to use no more than the average annual energy consumption of the equivalent ENERGY STAR-qualified product as determined by the appropriate ENERGY STAR savings calculator.

Updated 01/05/18 for rating system version applicability and to provide additional calculation options for Uninterruptible Power Supply equipment.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/2/2018
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project is located in California. To pursue Option 1: Whole Building Simulation, is there a methodology for documenting additional energy performance for LEED v4 projects regulated by Title 24-2016?

Ruling:

Project Type1
Additional Percent Savings

NC-Office
7%

NC-Retail (except restaurant/grocery)
8%

NC-School
7%

NC-Health Care
0%

NC-Restaurant/Grocery
0%

NC-Hospitality
8%

NC-Warehouse
0%

NC-Multifamily
8%

NC-All Other
0%

CS-Office
5%

CS-Retail (except restaurant/grocery)
7%

CS-School
5%

CS-Health Care
0%

CS-Restaurant/Grocery
0%

CS-Hospitality
7%

CS-Warehouse
0%

CS-Multifamily
7%

CS-All Other
0%

CI-Office
6%

CI-Retail (except restaurant/grocery)
7%

CI-School
6%

CI-Health Care
0%

CI-Restaurant/Grocery
0%

CI-Hospitality
7%

CI-Warehouse
0%

CI-Multifamily
7%

CI-All Other
0%

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/1/2014
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

There is significant confusion, and seemingly contradictory LEED Interpretations on the required methodology for addressing “purchased” on-site renewable energy, and/or purchased biofuel that is not considered on-site renewable energy within the LEED energy model. For renewable fuels meeting the requirements of Addendum 100001081 (November 1, 2011) or other purchased renewable fuels, how should purchased on-site renewable energy be treated in the LEED energy model? How should purchased bio-fuels (meaning it I not fossil fuel but is used in a similar manner to bio-fuel) be treated in the energy model?

Ruling:

For any on-site renewable fuel source that is purchased (such as qualifying wood pellets, etc.), or for biofuels not qualifying as on-site renewable fuel sources that are purchased, the actual energy costs associated with the purchased energy must be modeled in EA Prerequisite 2: Minimum Energy Performance and EA Credit 1: Optimize Energy Performance, and the renewable fuel source may not be modeled as "free", since it is a purchased energy source.

For non-traditional fuel sources (such as wood pellets) that are unregulated within ASHRAE 90.1, use the actual cost of the fuel, and provide documentation to substantiate the cost for the non-traditional fuel source. The same rates are to be used for the baseline and proposed buildings, with the following exception: If the fuel source is available at a discounted cost because it would otherwise be sent to the landfill or similarly disposed of, the project team may use local rates for the fuel for the baseline case and actual rates for the proposed case, as long as documentation is provided substantiating the difference in rates, and substantiating that the fuel source would otherwise be disposed of.

When these non-traditional fuel sources are used for heating the building, the proposed case heating source must be the same as the baseline case for systems using the non-traditional fuel source, and the project team must use fossil fuel efficiencies for the Baseline systems, or provide evidence justifying that the baseline efficiencies represent standard practice for a similar, newly constructed project with the same fuel source.

Updated 8/7/17 for rating system applicability.

Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes

LEEDuser expert

Marcus Sheffer

7group / Energy Opportunities
LEED Fellow

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