Find out how LEED v4.1 raises the bar on building performance

by Brianna Crandall — February 13, 2019 — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently announced that its newest version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building program, LEED v4.1, is open for registration for both new construction projects as well as interior spaces with LEED v4.1 BD+C and LEED v4.1 ID+C.

A light-filled green building with red reading chairs

The LEED v4.1 green building program encourages continuous improvement, from energy performance to human health and integrative design. Image courtesy USGBC

Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC, stated:

The hallmark of LEED is “continuous improvement” — and that is exactly where we are going with LEED v4.1. LEED v4.1 is set to raise the bar. It is the most comprehensive, collaborative, accessible and effective LEED system to date. From improving energy performance to emphasizing human health and integrative building design, LEED is encouraging project teams to operate beyond the status quo.

The goal of LEED v4.1 is to make the rating system more accessible to more projects based on lessons learned from LEED v4 project teams. This newest beta version updates performance thresholds and referenced standards to ensure LEED remains a global leadership standard for green buildings and continues to expand the marketplace for LEED.

The changes also advocate for improved performance throughout the life of buildings, rewards leaders based on their performance, and incorporates performance reporting to enable building owners to track progress towards environmental, social and governance goals.

Currently, there are more than 96,200 commercial projects participating in LEED in 167 countries and territories.

Melissa Baker, senior vice president, USGBC, remarked:

LEED v4.1 is aimed at addressing the challenges projects face as they pursue their sustainability goals. BD+C updates referenced standards to encourage leadership and responds to market feedback. ID+C updates mirror BD+C while also focusing on the realities projects experience as they interact with their base building.

Ramanujam continued:

As the global green building market has evolved, we must evolve with it. The heart of the green building community’s efforts must go well beyond construction and efficiency, and the materials that make up our buildings. We must dig deeper and focus on what matters most within those buildings: human beings. And this is what LEED v4.1 strives for. The standard we are most committed to raising is that of the quality of life itself — for every member of this community, and in populations spanning every corner of the planet.

Focused on implementation, LEED v4.1 is designed to be an accessible, user-friendly and agile tool. To participate, users can register using LEED Online, review the LEED v4.1 Beta Guide, and download the LEED v4.1 rating system. The latest education videos and live online webinars featuring USGBC subject matter experts are also available. USGBC staff are also available to meet in person at any of the 2019 Greenbuild and regional events.

USGBC says the impact of buildings, cities and communities on people continues to be a priority for the organization and across industries. Through LEED v4.1, USGBC is expanding its green building efforts to ensure LEED is not only a top leadership standard, but also a preeminent living standard. To tell those stories, USGBC launched the Living Standard campaign to capture how USGBC, LEED and other sustainability programs are raising the quality of life for people around the world. Individuals and companies can join the campaign and submit their stories.