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LEED Pilot Credits
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Materials-Related Pilot Credits
Whole building life cycle assessment

LEED CREDIT

Pilot-Credits MRpc63: Whole building life cycle assessment 1 point

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Credit language

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

Intent

This is a pilot credit. To use any pilot credit on your LEED project, be sure to register here. Documentation requirements and additional questions are listed below.

To increase the use of products and materials with life cycles and ingredients that improve overall environmental, economic and social performance.

Requirements

* This credit language is drawn from the LEED v4 draft. Where other point totals are noted, this pilot credit is worth 1 point in total. *

Option 4. whole-building life-cycle assessment (3 points)

For new construction (buildings or portions of buildings), conduct a life-cycle assessment of the project’s structure and enclosure that demonstrates a minimum of 10% reduction, compared with a baseline building, in at least three of the six impact categories listed below, one of which must be global warming potential. No impact category assessed as part of the life-cycle assessment may increase by more than 5% compared with the baseline building.

The baseline and proposed buildings must be of comparable size, function, orientation, and operating energy performance as defined in EA Prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance. The service life of the baseline and proposed buildings must be the same and at least 60 years to fully account for maintenance and replacement. Use the same life-cycle assessment software tools and data sets to evaluate both the baseline building and the proposed building, and report all listed impact categories. Data sets must be compliant with ISO 14044.

Select at least three of the following impact categories for reduction:

  • global warming potential (greenhouse gases), in kg CO2e;
  • depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer, in kg CFC-11;
  • acidification of land and water sources, in moles H+ or kg SO2;
  • eutrophication, in kg nitrogen or kg phosphate;
  • formation of tropospheric ozone, in kg NOx, kg O3 eq, or kg ethene; and
  • depletion of nonrenewable energy resources, in MJ.

General Pilot Documentation Requirements

Register for the pilot credit

Credits 1-14

Credits 15-27

Credits 28-42

Credits 43-56

Credits 57-67

Credits 68-82

Credits 83--96

Credit specific:

The idea of this credit is to explore the holistic environmental impacts of material selection for structure and assembly. At a minimum submit summary life cycle inventory and assessment results for the materials and assemblies explored. As well as a comprehensive narrative outlining why the assemblies chosen were compared, any conclusions learned as part of the process, and any decisions made as a result of the study. If the project does not have an energy model ensure the same operational energy use is used in all assessments. The software tools approved for use in this pilot credit are the Athena Impact Estimator, GaBi, and SimaPro. If other tools are used please provide evidence that the tool meets the ISO requirements.

Additional questions:
  1. What LCA database was used to conduct analysis? Why did you choose it? What did you think of the tool’s usability and technical rigor?
  2. Was obtaining product or brand specific LCIA data from manufactures difficult (or even possible)? Where there any other major hindrances to earning this credit?
  3. Do you think it is appropriate for this to be a design phase credit? Why or why not?
  4. Was the safety of alternative materials chosen a concern? Why or why not?
Changes:
  • Changes as a result of 3rd Public Comment (3/1/2012):
    Former Option 1 and Option 2 completely removed.
    Credit implementation strategy modified, intent remains the same.
  • Changes as a result of 5th Public Comment (1/15/2013):
    Modified to align with Building life-cycle impact reduction - Option 4
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 »

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.

LEEDuser expert

Batya Metalitz

USGBC
Technical Director, LEED

Get the inside scoop

Our editors have written a detailed analysis of nearly every LEED credit, and LEEDuser premium members get full access. We’ll tell you whether the credit is easy to accomplish or better left alone, and we provide insider tips on how to document it successfully.

USGBC logo

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

Intent

This is a pilot credit. To use any pilot credit on your LEED project, be sure to register here. Documentation requirements and additional questions are listed below.

To increase the use of products and materials with life cycles and ingredients that improve overall environmental, economic and social performance.

Requirements

* This credit language is drawn from the LEED v4 draft. Where other point totals are noted, this pilot credit is worth 1 point in total. *

Option 4. whole-building life-cycle assessment (3 points)

For new construction (buildings or portions of buildings), conduct a life-cycle assessment of the project’s structure and enclosure that demonstrates a minimum of 10% reduction, compared with a baseline building, in at least three of the six impact categories listed below, one of which must be global warming potential. No impact category assessed as part of the life-cycle assessment may increase by more than 5% compared with the baseline building.

The baseline and proposed buildings must be of comparable size, function, orientation, and operating energy performance as defined in EA Prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance. The service life of the baseline and proposed buildings must be the same and at least 60 years to fully account for maintenance and replacement. Use the same life-cycle assessment software tools and data sets to evaluate both the baseline building and the proposed building, and report all listed impact categories. Data sets must be compliant with ISO 14044.

Select at least three of the following impact categories for reduction:

  • global warming potential (greenhouse gases), in kg CO2e;
  • depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer, in kg CFC-11;
  • acidification of land and water sources, in moles H+ or kg SO2;
  • eutrophication, in kg nitrogen or kg phosphate;
  • formation of tropospheric ozone, in kg NOx, kg O3 eq, or kg ethene; and
  • depletion of nonrenewable energy resources, in MJ.

General Pilot Documentation Requirements

Register for the pilot credit

Credits 1-14

Credits 15-27

Credits 28-42

Credits 43-56

Credits 57-67

Credits 68-82

Credits 83--96

Credit specific:

The idea of this credit is to explore the holistic environmental impacts of material selection for structure and assembly. At a minimum submit summary life cycle inventory and assessment results for the materials and assemblies explored. As well as a comprehensive narrative outlining why the assemblies chosen were compared, any conclusions learned as part of the process, and any decisions made as a result of the study. If the project does not have an energy model ensure the same operational energy use is used in all assessments. The software tools approved for use in this pilot credit are the Athena Impact Estimator, GaBi, and SimaPro. If other tools are used please provide evidence that the tool meets the ISO requirements.

Additional questions:
  1. What LCA database was used to conduct analysis? Why did you choose it? What did you think of the tool’s usability and technical rigor?
  2. Was obtaining product or brand specific LCIA data from manufactures difficult (or even possible)? Where there any other major hindrances to earning this credit?
  3. Do you think it is appropriate for this to be a design phase credit? Why or why not?
  4. Was the safety of alternative materials chosen a concern? Why or why not?
Changes:
  • Changes as a result of 3rd Public Comment (3/1/2012):
    Former Option 1 and Option 2 completely removed.
    Credit implementation strategy modified, intent remains the same.
  • Changes as a result of 5th Public Comment (1/15/2013):
    Modified to align with Building life-cycle impact reduction - Option 4

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.

LEEDuser expert

Batya Metalitz

USGBC
Technical Director, LEED

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Subscribe to new discussions about Pilot-Credits MRpc63