New Developments as USGBC Plans to Release LEED v5 Later this Year

By admin 4 weeks ago

At the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild Conference held in Washington, D.C. in late 2023 the
new LEED Version 5 was the main topic of interest.  At this annual conference the USGBC soft-launched
a radical structural overhaul to all the LEED rating systems and also released a full draft of LEED v5 for
Operations and Maintenance: Existing Buildings
.

The USGBC is planning to release LEED v5 in late 2024 and will be available for projects to register in
early 2025. The three overarching goals of the new LEED v5 system are Climate Action, Quality of Life
and Ecological Conservation & Restoration. The weighting of LEED credits is important with any LEED
upgrade-the weightings are as follows:

Goal #1-Climate Action (50% of Points)
The proposed weightings make climate (decarbonization and resilience) 50% of the updated rating
systems points.

Goal #2-Quality of Life (25% of Points)
25% of the weight is on “quality of life,” which is a catch-all term for a variety of goals, encompassing
social equity and health and well-being, including IAQ, passive survivability, and material health.

Goal #3-Ecological Conservation & Restoration (25% of Points)
The final 25%, “ecology,” isn’t just about site and landscape, although they are still addressed in many of
the points. As currently presented, ecology will intersect with ecotoxicity and other pollution associated
with materials as well.

There are five principles that apply to each of the goals, ensuring that the goals overlap and are
integrated with one another. The principles are:

  1. Decarbonization
  2. Resilience
  3. Health and Well-being
  4. Equity
  5. Ecosystems

The USGBC has created a chart that illustrates how LEED v5 credits will apply to each goal and
corresponding principle. The chart and additional information about all of the new LEED v5 systems can
be found here.

The USGBC and their LEED Green Building Rating Systems will continue to evolve as the non-profit
organization continues to push the boundary as it aggressively encourages integrative design,
construction and operations of buildings. Since integrative design is paramount, the new LEED v5 system
is attempting to develop a robust system that integrates throughout all of the LEED Rating Systems and
the individual credits within each.

LEED v5 is NOT a system that is available for use yet. The new system is currently a collection of
concepts and drafts that are being evaluated by USGBC Steering Committees and will be approved by
members sometime in the near future. But the philosophy behind it is clear, and USGBC is already
bringing certain details into focus.

The system is currently in its “public comment period”, which is typical of all LEED systems as they are
being developed. This approach permits USGBC members and the general public to submit comments
about development of the new rating system.

What does this mean to our AEC community? It means that you should be at least familiar with how the
LEED system is progressing and evolving, as you are sure to be involved with a project targeting LEED
certification sooner or later if you haven’t been already. My advice is to register any potential projects
targeting LEED certification ASAP, as your project will be grandfathered in to the current LEED v4 / 4.1
system which is sure to be less stringent than future versions like LEED v5.

We will share additional details about LEED v5 as they become available from the USGBC.

About Green Ideas ® Building Science Consultants
Charlie Popeck is President and CEO of Green Ideas, a full-service building science consulting firm offering
3D energy and daylight modeling, building commissioning, and world-class LEED certification services.
The firm is designated as a LEED Proven Provider by Green Business Certification Inc. Its clients are
building owners, architects, engineers, contractors, real estate developers, facility managers, and
corporate entities wishing to establish business advantages through high-performance building
practices. With a vision as bold as the results they achieve, Green Ideas is dedicated to transforming the
market by promoting building science through a “triple bottom line” approach to business operations.

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