From LEED v4 to LEED v4.1 for Existing buildings: what are the changes?

A growing number of owners and operators are certifying their buildings under Operational Certification to assess their performance, identify inefficiencies, and provides a roadmap for improvement.

LEED v4.1, the incremental update to LEED v4, announced by USGBC earlier this year would be a perfect fit for this kind of certification or building assessment.  What’s in it for your existing projects? In short: performance-based certification.

LEED v4.1 O+M Scorecard with highlighted performance-based credits

Indeed, some LEED points will be calculated from the building actual performance score, for each of these 5 categories credits:

  • Transport performance: a survey must be conducted at least once per year to understand the users’ transportation means. The CO2 emissions reduction from a baseline would be computed into the performance score;
  • Water performance: at least 12 months consumption should be recorded; this consumption would be compared to high-performing buildings and be translated into the performance score;
  • Energy performance: at least 12 months energy usage should be recorded. The GHG emissions and the source energy score will be worth each 50% of the final Energy performance score;
  • Waste performance: at least 12 months of data on waste performance or a waste audit at least once a year, the waste performance score rates the resource consumption and resource use efficiency of the building (waste generated and diverted) against the consumption and efficiency of comparable high-performing buildings.
  • Human Experience (Indoor Environmental Quality Performance): Building owners must perform an occupant comfort survey and/or air testing for CO2 and TVOC at least once a year. The occupant survey is worth 50% of the points, CO2 is worth 25%, and TVOC is worth 25%.

A minimum performance score of 40 should be reached for each of these 5 categories, up to 100, which will then be converted into LEED points.

Points difference for LEED v4 O+M and LEED v4.1 O+M

Thanks to this new scoring method, 10 points have been deleted and incorporated into the performance-based credits, thus reducing the maximum score from 110 to 100 points.

Existing projects under LEED v4.1 would need to record performance data in ARC, a platform created by the GBCI, with 90 of the 100 points available in LEED v4.1 O+M certification accounted in the platform.

ARC Platform interface

How about LEED v4.1 for BD+C or ID+C and others? This will be detailed in a future article.

If you would like to certify your asset through LEED v4.1 or if you have any other inquiry about Green Building certifications, please contact us at

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