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LEED v4
Homes
Innovation
Innovation

LEED CREDIT

Homes-v4 INc1: Innovation 1-5 points

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Post your questions on this credit in the forum, and click on the credit language tab to review to the LEED requirements.

Credit language

USGBC logo

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

Requirements

To achieve all five innovation points, a project team must achieve at least one pilot credit, at least one innovation credit and no more than two exemplary performance credits.

Option 1. Innovation (1 point)
Achieve significant, measurable environmental performance using a strategy not addressed in the LEED Green Building Rating System. Identify the following in writing:
  • the intent of the proposed innovation credit;
  • the proposed requirement for compliance;
  • the proposed submittals to demonstrate compliance; and
  • the design approach (strategies) used to meet the requirements.

AND/OR

Option 2. Pilot (1 point)
Attempt and achieve one pilot credit from the USGBC’s LEED Pilot Credit Library.

AND/OR

Option 3. Additional strategies (1–3 points)
  • Innovation (1–3 points) Defined in Option 1 above.
  • Pilot (1–3 points) Defined in Option 2 above.
  • Exemplary Performance (0.5–2 points) Achieve exemplary performance in an existing LEED v4 prerequisite or credit that allows exemplary performance, as specified in the LEED Reference Guide, v4 edition. An exemplary performance point is typically earned for achieving double the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold of an existing credit.
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

Is there a list of Innovation strategies available to v4 projects?

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

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I’m confused about how many points I can earn for each strategy (innovation vs pilot credit vs exemplary performance). Is there a limit on each type of strategy if we want to earn all five Innovation points?

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

7/8/2017Updated: 11/6/2020
Form Update
Description of change:
Revise the text of the first sentence under "Requirements" to the following:

"To achieve all five innovation points, a project team must achieve at least one pilot credit, at least one innovation credit and no more than two exemplary performance credits.”
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/8/2017Updated: 11/6/2020
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
Revise the text of the first sentence under "Requirements" to the following:

"To achieve all five innovation points, a project team must achieve at least one pilot credit, at least one innovation credit and no more than two exemplary performance credits.”
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/8/2017Updated: 1/8/2020
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Revise all references to the online "Innovation database" to say "Innovation Catalog."
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2014Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Revise the text below Step 2. to the following:
"Projects may earn up to 5 points through combination of the following:
• Innovation (up to 4 points). This option is appropriate for strategies that are not addressed by any existing credits in the LEED rating system under which the project will be certified.
• Pilot credits (up to 4 points). This option requires project teams to achieve, document, and provide feedback on pilot credit strategies developed by USGBC members and committees.
Exemplary performance (up to 2 points). This option is achieved by demonstrating performance that greatly exceeds the level or scope required by existing LEED prerequisites or credits.
o One point is reserved for Pilot Credits and one for Innovation. To use all five points, projects must use at least one pilot credit and one innovation credit"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/5/2016
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

According to the US DOE “Zero Energy Ready Homes are at least 40%-50% more energy efficient than a typical new home. This generally corresponds to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score in the low- to mid-50s, depending on the size of the home and region in which it is built.”

Interpretation 10398 states that projects that receive ENERGY STAR for Homes v3 certification may automatically earn a HERS 70. Can projects that earn the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home label also receive a HERS equivalency?

Ruling:

Projects that earn the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home certificate may automatically earn a 15 points in EA credit Annual Energy Use.

In addition, projects that earn the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home certificate meet the following credits and prerequisites:

EA prerequisite Minimum energy performance (Required)
EA prerequisite Education of homeowner, tenant, or building manager (Required)
EA credit Efficient hot water distribution system Option 2. Performance test (3 points)
EA credit Active solar-ready design (1 point)
EA credit HVAC Start-up credentialing (1 point)
EA credit Annual energy use (15 points)
IN credit Innovation ZERH (1 point)

Projects also meet the requirements of all credits and prerequisites deemed equivalent to the EPA Indoor airPLUS program.

Update 7/25/19: This interpretation does not apply to projects that include pools or other major energy users not covered by the energy model.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
4/5/2016
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Which LEED v4 Homes credit and prerequisite requirements can be automatically met by the EPA Indoor airPLUS program?

Ruling:

Projects that earn the EPA Indoor airPLUS label, based on Indoor airPLUS Version 1 (Rev 03) Construction Specifications automatically meet the requirements of the following prerequisites and credits:

EQ prerequisite Ventilation;
EQ prerequisite Combustion venting;
EQ prerequisite Garage pollutant protection;
EQ prerequisite Radon-resistant construction;
EQ prerequisite Air filtering;
EQ prerequisite Environmental tobacco smoke;
EQ credit Contaminant control, Option 3. Preoccupancy Flush (0.5 points);
EQ credit Enhanced combustion venting, Option 2. Enhanced combustion venting measures (1 point);
EQ credit Enhanced garage pollutant protection, Case 1. Single Family, Option 1. Exhaust Fan in Garage (1 point)
MR credit Durability management verification (1 point)
SS credit Nontoxic pest control (1 point) , measure: Seal all external cracks, joints, penetrations, edges, and entry points with appropriate caulking. Install rodent- and corrosion-proof screens (e.g., copper or stainless steel mesh) on all openings greater than ¼ inch (6 millimeters), except where code prohibits their installation (e.g., dryer vents), and measure: Design discharge points for rain gutters, air-conditioning condensation lines, steam vent lines, or any other moisture source such that discharge is at least 24 inches (600 millimeters) from the foundation.

In addition, project teams are eligible for an Innovation credit for additional moisture control items covered in Indoor airPLUS and not directly awarded in LEEDv4

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/5/2018
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

If a project pursues a pilot alternative compliance path (ACP), can it be exempted from the following pilot credit requirement for the Innovation credit?

“To achieve all five innovation points, a project team must achieve at least one pilot credit, at least one innovation credit and no more than two exemplary performance credits.”

Ruling:

If projects achieve a pilot ACP, they are exempted from the requirement to achieve at least one pilot credit. To achieve all five points in the Innovation credit under this approach, projects may select one of the following point combinations:
• 4 innovation and 1 exemplary performance
• 3 innovation and 2 exemplary performance

***Updated 7.10.2020 to clarify that projects must achieve a pilot ACP to be exempted***

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
See all forum discussions about this credit »

Documentation toolkit

The motherlode of cheat sheets

LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit is loaded with calculators to help assess credit compliance, tracking spreadsheets for materials, sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions, and examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects for you to check your work against. To get your plaque, start with the right toolkit.

USGBC logo

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

Requirements

To achieve all five innovation points, a project team must achieve at least one pilot credit, at least one innovation credit and no more than two exemplary performance credits.

Option 1. Innovation (1 point)
Achieve significant, measurable environmental performance using a strategy not addressed in the LEED Green Building Rating System. Identify the following in writing:
  • the intent of the proposed innovation credit;
  • the proposed requirement for compliance;
  • the proposed submittals to demonstrate compliance; and
  • the design approach (strategies) used to meet the requirements.

AND/OR

Option 2. Pilot (1 point)
Attempt and achieve one pilot credit from the USGBC’s LEED Pilot Credit Library.

AND/OR

Option 3. Additional strategies (1–3 points)
  • Innovation (1–3 points) Defined in Option 1 above.
  • Pilot (1–3 points) Defined in Option 2 above.
  • Exemplary Performance (0.5–2 points) Achieve exemplary performance in an existing LEED v4 prerequisite or credit that allows exemplary performance, as specified in the LEED Reference Guide, v4 edition. An exemplary performance point is typically earned for achieving double the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold of an existing credit.

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.

Is there a list of Innovation strategies available to v4 projects?

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.)

I’m confused about how many points I can earn for each strategy (innovation vs pilot credit vs exemplary performance). Is there a limit on each type of strategy if we want to earn all five Innovation points?

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.)

7/8/2017Updated: 11/6/2020
Form Update
Description of change:
Revise the text of the first sentence under "Requirements" to the following:

"To achieve all five innovation points, a project team must achieve at least one pilot credit, at least one innovation credit and no more than two exemplary performance credits.”
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/8/2017Updated: 11/6/2020
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
Revise the text of the first sentence under "Requirements" to the following:

"To achieve all five innovation points, a project team must achieve at least one pilot credit, at least one innovation credit and no more than two exemplary performance credits.”
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/8/2017Updated: 1/8/2020
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Revise all references to the online "Innovation database" to say "Innovation Catalog."
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2014Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Revise the text below Step 2. to the following:
"Projects may earn up to 5 points through combination of the following:
• Innovation (up to 4 points). This option is appropriate for strategies that are not addressed by any existing credits in the LEED rating system under which the project will be certified.
• Pilot credits (up to 4 points). This option requires project teams to achieve, document, and provide feedback on pilot credit strategies developed by USGBC members and committees.
Exemplary performance (up to 2 points). This option is achieved by demonstrating performance that greatly exceeds the level or scope required by existing LEED prerequisites or credits.
o One point is reserved for Pilot Credits and one for Innovation. To use all five points, projects must use at least one pilot credit and one innovation credit"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/5/2016
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

According to the US DOE “Zero Energy Ready Homes are at least 40%-50% more energy efficient than a typical new home. This generally corresponds to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score in the low- to mid-50s, depending on the size of the home and region in which it is built.”

Interpretation 10398 states that projects that receive ENERGY STAR for Homes v3 certification may automatically earn a HERS 70. Can projects that earn the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home label also receive a HERS equivalency?

Ruling:

Projects that earn the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home certificate may automatically earn a 15 points in EA credit Annual Energy Use.

In addition, projects that earn the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home certificate meet the following credits and prerequisites:

EA prerequisite Minimum energy performance (Required)
EA prerequisite Education of homeowner, tenant, or building manager (Required)
EA credit Efficient hot water distribution system Option 2. Performance test (3 points)
EA credit Active solar-ready design (1 point)
EA credit HVAC Start-up credentialing (1 point)
EA credit Annual energy use (15 points)
IN credit Innovation ZERH (1 point)

Projects also meet the requirements of all credits and prerequisites deemed equivalent to the EPA Indoor airPLUS program.

Update 7/25/19: This interpretation does not apply to projects that include pools or other major energy users not covered by the energy model.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
4/5/2016
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Which LEED v4 Homes credit and prerequisite requirements can be automatically met by the EPA Indoor airPLUS program?

Ruling:

Projects that earn the EPA Indoor airPLUS label, based on Indoor airPLUS Version 1 (Rev 03) Construction Specifications automatically meet the requirements of the following prerequisites and credits:

EQ prerequisite Ventilation;
EQ prerequisite Combustion venting;
EQ prerequisite Garage pollutant protection;
EQ prerequisite Radon-resistant construction;
EQ prerequisite Air filtering;
EQ prerequisite Environmental tobacco smoke;
EQ credit Contaminant control, Option 3. Preoccupancy Flush (0.5 points);
EQ credit Enhanced combustion venting, Option 2. Enhanced combustion venting measures (1 point);
EQ credit Enhanced garage pollutant protection, Case 1. Single Family, Option 1. Exhaust Fan in Garage (1 point)
MR credit Durability management verification (1 point)
SS credit Nontoxic pest control (1 point) , measure: Seal all external cracks, joints, penetrations, edges, and entry points with appropriate caulking. Install rodent- and corrosion-proof screens (e.g., copper or stainless steel mesh) on all openings greater than ¼ inch (6 millimeters), except where code prohibits their installation (e.g., dryer vents), and measure: Design discharge points for rain gutters, air-conditioning condensation lines, steam vent lines, or any other moisture source such that discharge is at least 24 inches (600 millimeters) from the foundation.

In addition, project teams are eligible for an Innovation credit for additional moisture control items covered in Indoor airPLUS and not directly awarded in LEEDv4

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/5/2018
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

If a project pursues a pilot alternative compliance path (ACP), can it be exempted from the following pilot credit requirement for the Innovation credit?

“To achieve all five innovation points, a project team must achieve at least one pilot credit, at least one innovation credit and no more than two exemplary performance credits.”

Ruling:

If projects achieve a pilot ACP, they are exempted from the requirement to achieve at least one pilot credit. To achieve all five points in the Innovation credit under this approach, projects may select one of the following point combinations:
• 4 innovation and 1 exemplary performance
• 3 innovation and 2 exemplary performance

***Updated 7.10.2020 to clarify that projects must achieve a pilot ACP to be exempted***

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Subscribe to new discussions about Homes-v4 INc1