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LEED v4.1

Schools – New Construction

Energy and Atmosphere
Optimize Energy Performance

LEED CREDIT

Schools-NC-v4.1 EAc2: Optimize Energy Performance 1-16 points

See all forum discussions about this credit »

SPECIAL REPORT

LEEDuser expert

Marcus Sheffer

7group / Energy Opportunities
LEED Fellow

SPECIAL REPORT

LEEDuser’s viewpoint

Explore this LEED credit

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.

Intent

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

Requirements

Analyze efficiency measures during the design process and account for the results in design decision making. Use energy simulation of efficiency opportunities, past energy simulation analyses for similar buildings, or published data (e.g., Advanced Energy Design Guides) from analyses for similar buildings.

Analyze efficiency measures, focusing on load reduction and HVAC-related strategies (passive measures are acceptable) appropriate for the facility. Project potential energy savings and holistic project cost implications related to all affected systems.

Choose one of the options below.

Option 1. Energy Performance Compliance (1–18 points except Schools and Healthcare, 1–16 points Schools, 1–20 points Healthcare)

Demonstrate a Performance Cost Index (PCI)1 below the Performance Cost Index Target (PCIt) calculated in accordance with Section 4.2.1.1 of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2016, Appendix G, Table 4.2.1.1. For mixed use buildings, the required PCI shall be calculated by using an area weighted average of the building types.

Calculate the PCI, PCIt, and percentage improvement using metrics of cost and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For each energy source serving the building, the GHG emission factors must be identical for the Baseline and Proposed building models.

LEED points are calculated based on the project percent improvement PCI below the PCIt using metrics of cost and GHG emissions. Total points have been divided equally between the metrics of energy cost and greenhouse gas emissions. Points are awarded according to Table 1 and Table 2.

For project percent improvement for the cost metric, on-site renewable energy may be subtracted from proposed energy cost prior to calculating proposed building performance per ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016 Section G 2.4.1.

Table 1. Points for percentage improvement in energy performance – % Cost PCI below PCIt (1-9 points NC and CS, 1-8 points Schools, 1-10 points Healthcare)

New Construction Healthcare,
Major Renovation, CS
Points BD+C (except Schools, Healthcare) Points Healthcare Points Schools
5% 2% 1 1 1
10% 5% 2 2 2
15% 10% 3 3 3
20% 15% 4 4 4
25% 20% 5 5 5
30% 25% 6 6 6
35% 30% 7 7 7
40% 35% 8 8
45% 40% 9 9 8
50% 45% EP 10 EP
50% EP

*BD+C projects except Data Centers with unregulated energy cost exceeding 50% of the total proposed building energy cost, and BD+C: Data Centers projects with at least 40% gross colocation data center area may use the “Healthcare, Major Renovation, CS” column in lieu of the “New Construction” column.

On-site renewable energy may be subtracted from proposed greenhouse gas emissions prior to calculating proposed building performance per ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016 Section G 2.4.1. New off-site renewable energy as defined in EA credit Renewable Energy may be subtracted from proposed greenhouse gas emissions prior to calculating proposed building performance.

Table 2. Points for percentage improvement in energy performance – % Greenhouse Gas Emissions PCI below PCIt (1-9 points NC, 1-8 points Schools, 1-10 points Healthcare)

New Construction Healthcare,
Major Renovation, CS,
Points BD+C (except Schools, Healthcare) Points Healthcare Points Schools
5% 2% 1 1 1
10% 5% 2 2 2
16% 10% 3 3 3
24% 16% 4 4 4
32% 24% 5 5 5
40% 32% 6 6 6
50% 40% 7 7 7
65% 50% 8 8
80% 65% 9 9 8
100% 80% EP 10 EP
100% EP

*BD+C projects except Data Centers with unregulated energy cost exceeding 50% of the total proposed building energy cost, and BD+C: Data Centers projects with at least 40% gross colocation data center area may use the “Healthcare, Major Renovation, CS” column in lieu of the “New Construction” column.

OR

Option 2. Prescriptive Compliance: ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guide (1–6 points, 1-4 points CS)

To be eligible for Option 2, projects must meet the Scope requirements of the applicable AEDGs (or combination of AEDGs for mixed use), and projects must use the ASHRAE 90.1-2016 Prescriptive compliance path in EA Prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance.

Implement and document compliance with the applicable recommendations and standards in Chapter 4, Design Strategies and Recommendations by Climate Zone, for the appropriate ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide and climate zone.

ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small to Medium Office Buildings

  • Building envelope: roofs, walls, floors, slabs, doors, continuous air barriers, and vertical fenestration (1 point, 2 points CS)
  • Interior and exterior lighting, including daylighting and interior finishes (1 point). CS: Minimum 20% of building area must have a complete lighting design.
  • Plug loads, including equipment and controls (2 points, 0 points CS)
  • HVAC Systems and Controls (2 points, 1 point CS). CS scope of work must include at least 20% of the building’s projected cooling capacity, heating capacity, and fan volume.

ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide for Medium to Large Box Retail Buildings

  • Building envelope: roofs, walls, floors, slabs, doors, vestibules and fenestration – all orientations (1 point, 2 points CS)
  • Interior and exterior lighting, excluding lighting power density for sales floor (1 point). CS: Minimum 20% of building area must have a complete lighting design
  • Additional interior lighting for sales floor (1 point, 0 points CS)
  • Plug loads, including equipment choices and controls (1 point, 0 points CS)
  • HVAC efficiency and control requirements (2 points, 1 point CS). CS scope of work must include at least 20% of the building’s projected cooling capacity, heating capacity, and fan volume)

ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide for K–12 School Buildings
(Not applicable for CS)

  • Building envelope: roofs, walls, floors, slabs, doors and vertical fenestration (1 point)
  • Interior and exterior lighting, including daylighting and interior finishes (1 point)
  • Plug loads, including equipment choices, controls, and kitchen equipment (2 points)
  • HVAC efficiency and control requirements (2 points)

ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide for Large Hospitals

  • Building envelope: roofs, walls, floors, slabs, doors, vestibules, continuous air barriers, and vertical fenestration (1 point, 2 points CS)
  • Interior and exterior lighting, including daylighting (form or nonform driven) and interior finishes (1 point). CS: Minimum 20% of building area must have a complete lighting design
  • Plug loads, including equipment choices, controls, and kitchen equipment (1 point, 0 points CS)
  • HVAC and Service Water Heating Systems and Equipment (2 points) (1 point CS. CS scope of work must include at least 20% of the building’s projected cooling capacity, heating capacity, and fan volume)

ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide for Grocery Stores

  • Building envelope: roofs, walls, floors, slabs, doors, vestibules, continuous air barriers, and vertical fenestration (1 point) (2 points – CS)
  • Interior and exterior lighting, including sales floor (1 points)
  • Refrigeration, Plug, and Process loads, including equipment choices and controls (2 points)(0 points CS)
  • HVAC efficiency and control requirements (1 point) (1 point CS. CS scope of work must include at least 20% of the building’s projected cooling capacity, heating capacity, and fan volume)
OPTION 3. Systems Optimization (1-4 points)

To be eligible for Option 3, projects must use the ASHRAE 90.1-2016 Prescriptive compliance path in EA Prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance, and must not have more than 2,000 square feet of data center space, laboratory space, or manufacturing space.

Demonstrate an improvement beyond ASHRAE/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1–2016, with errata, for the following systems: Interior and Exterior Lighting; Daylight controls; Building envelope; HVAC and service water heating equipment efficiency; and Equipment and appliances. Each three strategies selected earns 1 point (For Core & Shell lighting and HVAC efficiency measures, the project scope of work must include a complete design for at least 20% of the building area to qualify).

  • Interior and Exterior Lighting:
    • 15% lighting power reduction
    • 30% lighting power reduction
    • 45% lighting power reduction
  • Daylight controls: Install daylight-responsive controls for a given percentage of connected lighting load (lighting in non-regularly occupied space with occupant sensor controls may be excluded from connected lighting load).
    • 35%
    • 70%
  • Building envelope:
    • Climate Zones 1 – 2:
      • Thermal Mass Enclosure: More than 70% of opaque above-grade wall area meets ASHRAE 90.1-2016 definition for “mass wall”; and more than 70% of floor area meets ASHRAE 90.1-2016 definition for “mass floor”
      • 25% Envelope UA reduction
      • 50% SHGC reduction (including window shade factors)
    • Climate Zones 3 – 8:
  • HVAC and Service Water Heating Equipment Efficiency:
    • Reduction in total fan power allowance of:
      • 15%
      • 30%
      • 45%
    • Improvement in efficiency for at least 75% of the combined cooling, heating, and service water heating capacity
      • 10%
      • 20%
      • 30%

      Electric resistance heating except heat pump auxiliary heat must be included in total capacity.

  • Equipment and Appliances: Install a percentage (by rated power) of eligible equipment and appliances meeting the following requirements:
    • ENERGY STAR equipment including appliances, office equipment, electronics, and commercial food service equipment (lighting and building envelope products are excluded from this credit). (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) equipment may be used in lieu of Energy Star equipment where applicable).
    • Prescriptive commercial kitchen and refrigeration equipment requirements listed in Appendix 3, Table 1.

    The project scope of work must include at least 0.25 Watts per square foot of eligible equipment to apply this strategy.

Percent of Eligible Equipment Installed by Rated Power:

  • 20%
  • 40%
  • 60%
  • 80%
  • 100%
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

Marcus Sheffer

7group / Energy Opportunities
LEED Fellow

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

Analyze efficiency measures during the design process and account for the results in design decision making. Use energy simulation of efficiency opportunities, past energy simulation analyses for similar buildings, or published data (e.g., Advanced Energy Design Guides) from analyses for similar buildings.

Analyze efficiency measures, focusing on load reduction and HVAC-related strategies (passive measures are acceptable) appropriate for the facility. Project potential energy savings and holistic project cost implications related to all affected systems.

Choose one of the options below.

Option 1. Energy Performance Compliance (1–18 points except Schools and Healthcare, 1–16 points Schools, 1–20 points Healthcare)

Demonstrate a Performance Cost Index (PCI)1 below the Performance Cost Index Target (PCIt) calculated in accordance with Section 4.2.1.1 of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2016, Appendix G, Table 4.2.1.1. For mixed use buildings, the required PCI shall be calculated by using an area weighted average of the building types.

Calculate the PCI, PCIt, and percentage improvement using metrics of cost and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For each energy source serving the building, the GHG emission factors must be identical for the Baseline and Proposed building models.

LEED points are calculated based on the project percent improvement PCI below the PCIt using metrics of cost and GHG emissions. Total points have been divided equally between the metrics of energy cost and greenhouse gas emissions. Points are awarded according to Table 1 and Table 2.

For project percent improvement for the cost metric, on-site renewable energy may be subtracted from proposed energy cost prior to calculating proposed building performance per ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016 Section G 2.4.1.

Table 1. Points for percentage improvement in energy performance – % Cost PCI below PCIt (1-9 points NC and CS, 1-8 points Schools, 1-10 points Healthcare)

New Construction Healthcare,
Major Renovation, CS
Points BD+C (except Schools, Healthcare) Points Healthcare Points Schools
5% 2% 1 1 1
10% 5% 2 2 2
15% 10% 3 3 3
20% 15% 4 4 4
25% 20% 5 5 5
30% 25% 6 6 6
35% 30% 7 7 7
40% 35% 8 8
45% 40% 9 9 8
50% 45% EP 10 EP
50% EP

*BD+C projects except Data Centers with unregulated energy cost exceeding 50% of the total proposed building energy cost, and BD+C: Data Centers projects with at least 40% gross colocation data center area may use the “Healthcare, Major Renovation, CS” column in lieu of the “New Construction” column.

On-site renewable energy may be subtracted from proposed greenhouse gas emissions prior to calculating proposed building performance per ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016 Section G 2.4.1. New off-site renewable energy as defined in EA credit Renewable Energy may be subtracted from proposed greenhouse gas emissions prior to calculating proposed building performance.

Table 2. Points for percentage improvement in energy performance – % Greenhouse Gas Emissions PCI below PCIt (1-9 points NC, 1-8 points Schools, 1-10 points Healthcare)

New Construction Healthcare,
Major Renovation, CS,
Points BD+C (except Schools, Healthcare) Points Healthcare Points Schools
5% 2% 1 1 1
10% 5% 2 2 2
16% 10% 3 3 3
24% 16% 4 4 4
32% 24% 5 5 5
40% 32% 6 6 6
50% 40% 7 7 7
65% 50% 8 8
80% 65% 9 9 8
100% 80% EP 10 EP
100% EP

*BD+C projects except Data Centers with unregulated energy cost exceeding 50% of the total proposed building energy cost, and BD+C: Data Centers projects with at least 40% gross colocation data center area may use the “Healthcare, Major Renovation, CS” column in lieu of the “New Construction” column.

OR

Option 2. Prescriptive Compliance: ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guide (1–6 points, 1-4 points CS)

To be eligible for Option 2, projects must meet the Scope requirements of the applicable AEDGs (or combination of AEDGs for mixed use), and projects must use the ASHRAE 90.1-2016 Prescriptive compliance path in EA Prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance.

Implement and document compliance with the applicable recommendations and standards in Chapter 4, Design Strategies and Recommendations by Climate Zone, for the appropriate ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide and climate zone.

ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small to Medium Office Buildings

  • Building envelope: roofs, walls, floors, slabs, doors, continuous air barriers, and vertical fenestration (1 point, 2 points CS)
  • Interior and exterior lighting, including daylighting and interior finishes (1 point). CS: Minimum 20% of building area must have a complete lighting design.
  • Plug loads, including equipment and controls (2 points, 0 points CS)
  • HVAC Systems and Controls (2 points, 1 point CS). CS scope of work must include at least 20% of the building’s projected cooling capacity, heating capacity, and fan volume.

ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide for Medium to Large Box Retail Buildings

  • Building envelope: roofs, walls, floors, slabs, doors, vestibules and fenestration – all orientations (1 point, 2 points CS)
  • Interior and exterior lighting, excluding lighting power density for sales floor (1 point). CS: Minimum 20% of building area must have a complete lighting design
  • Additional interior lighting for sales floor (1 point, 0 points CS)
  • Plug loads, including equipment choices and controls (1 point, 0 points CS)
  • HVAC efficiency and control requirements (2 points, 1 point CS). CS scope of work must include at least 20% of the building’s projected cooling capacity, heating capacity, and fan volume)

ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide for K–12 School Buildings
(Not applicable for CS)

  • Building envelope: roofs, walls, floors, slabs, doors and vertical fenestration (1 point)
  • Interior and exterior lighting, including daylighting and interior finishes (1 point)
  • Plug loads, including equipment choices, controls, and kitchen equipment (2 points)
  • HVAC efficiency and control requirements (2 points)

ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide for Large Hospitals

  • Building envelope: roofs, walls, floors, slabs, doors, vestibules, continuous air barriers, and vertical fenestration (1 point, 2 points CS)
  • Interior and exterior lighting, including daylighting (form or nonform driven) and interior finishes (1 point). CS: Minimum 20% of building area must have a complete lighting design
  • Plug loads, including equipment choices, controls, and kitchen equipment (1 point, 0 points CS)
  • HVAC and Service Water Heating Systems and Equipment (2 points) (1 point CS. CS scope of work must include at least 20% of the building’s projected cooling capacity, heating capacity, and fan volume)

ASHRAE 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide for Grocery Stores

  • Building envelope: roofs, walls, floors, slabs, doors, vestibules, continuous air barriers, and vertical fenestration (1 point) (2 points – CS)
  • Interior and exterior lighting, including sales floor (1 points)
  • Refrigeration, Plug, and Process loads, including equipment choices and controls (2 points)(0 points CS)
  • HVAC efficiency and control requirements (1 point) (1 point CS. CS scope of work must include at least 20% of the building’s projected cooling capacity, heating capacity, and fan volume)
OPTION 3. Systems Optimization (1-4 points)

To be eligible for Option 3, projects must use the ASHRAE 90.1-2016 Prescriptive compliance path in EA Prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance, and must not have more than 2,000 square feet of data center space, laboratory space, or manufacturing space.

Demonstrate an improvement beyond ASHRAE/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1–2016, with errata, for the following systems: Interior and Exterior Lighting; Daylight controls; Building envelope; HVAC and service water heating equipment efficiency; and Equipment and appliances. Each three strategies selected earns 1 point (For Core & Shell lighting and HVAC efficiency measures, the project scope of work must include a complete design for at least 20% of the building area to qualify).

  • Interior and Exterior Lighting:
    • 15% lighting power reduction
    • 30% lighting power reduction
    • 45% lighting power reduction
  • Daylight controls: Install daylight-responsive controls for a given percentage of connected lighting load (lighting in non-regularly occupied space with occupant sensor controls may be excluded from connected lighting load).
    • 35%
    • 70%
  • Building envelope:
    • Climate Zones 1 – 2:
      • Thermal Mass Enclosure: More than 70% of opaque above-grade wall area meets ASHRAE 90.1-2016 definition for “mass wall”; and more than 70% of floor area meets ASHRAE 90.1-2016 definition for “mass floor”
      • 25% Envelope UA reduction
      • 50% SHGC reduction (including window shade factors)
    • Climate Zones 3 – 8:
  • HVAC and Service Water Heating Equipment Efficiency:
    • Reduction in total fan power allowance of:
      • 15%
      • 30%
      • 45%
    • Improvement in efficiency for at least 75% of the combined cooling, heating, and service water heating capacity
      • 10%
      • 20%
      • 30%

      Electric resistance heating except heat pump auxiliary heat must be included in total capacity.

  • Equipment and Appliances: Install a percentage (by rated power) of eligible equipment and appliances meeting the following requirements:
    • ENERGY STAR equipment including appliances, office equipment, electronics, and commercial food service equipment (lighting and building envelope products are excluded from this credit). (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) equipment may be used in lieu of Energy Star equipment where applicable).
    • Prescriptive commercial kitchen and refrigeration equipment requirements listed in Appendix 3, Table 1.

    The project scope of work must include at least 0.25 Watts per square foot of eligible equipment to apply this strategy.

Percent of Eligible Equipment Installed by Rated Power:

  • 20%
  • 40%
  • 60%
  • 80%
  • 100%

LEEDuser expert

Marcus Sheffer

7group / Energy Opportunities
LEED Fellow

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Subscribe to new discussions about Schools-NC-v4.1 EAc2