Essential LEED Interpretations, Addenda, and Rating System Updates

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Addenda incorporate changes and improvements to the LEED rating systems and reference guides to help clarify, correct, interpret or provide alternative language. Addenda = LEED Interpretations + Corrections.

LEED Interpretations, or LIs, are precedent-setting official answers to formal technical questions about implementing LEED that can be used by all projects. Project teams are required to follow Addenda issued before their project's LEED registration date. Addenda issued after a project's registration date are optional—but USGBC recommends their use (and they often make LEED more clear and easier to follow, so there are multiple reasons for using them).

Corrections are permanent changes and improvements to the rating systems, reference guides, and LEED Online forms and calculators.

In addition to contacting Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).) for simple clarifications anytime, project teams may request Project Credit Interpretation Rulings, or Project CIRs, to obtain technical guidance on how LEED requirements apply to their projects specifically and only to their project. Project CIRs are not made public.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) issues Addenda quarterly via its Addenda Database and the LEED credit library.

There are hundreds of LEED Interpretations, so which ones are useful to your projects?

LEEDuser reviews every quarterly release and notes highlights for our members. Note that our review gives only passing mention to updates affecting Homes and ND, as these rating systems are not covered in depth on LEEDuser.

We offer here two ways of reviewing this information:

  • Summaries of each quarterly release—starts just a few lines down
  • Summaries organized by rating system (BD+C, ID+C, and O+M) and credit category—scroll down the page or click here.

For related support on staying up to date with LEED, also read LEEDuser's guide to LEED Online status updates.

Notes on Quarterly Releases

Here are notes on each quarter's release. Scroll down or click here to jump to more detailed information organized by rating system and category.

Notes on the April 2017 Release

There are no new LEED Interpretations in the April 2017 addenda items, but there is an essential calculator update for Minimum Energy Performance for teams using LEED 2009 (v3) and v4. There are also a few changes to the LEED v4 rating systems and reference guides, and some key changes to the Material Ingredients credit which Nadav Malin covers in detail in a comment.

For commercial projects, there is one corrected LEED Interpretation for LEED v4.

USGBC published 12 corrections to the LEED v4 Reference Guides for commercial projects (ID #100002150 - 100002163). While seven of the corrections deal with clarifying or reversing guidance for group and campus projects, one correction makes changes to the BD+C and ID+C rating systems and another makes changes to the O+M rating system. One reference guide correction clarifies tenant advanced energy metering for Core & Shell projects. Another one provides guidance for projects using district energy systems.

See highlights by Rating System below for details on the calculator update, corrected LI, rating system corrections, and essential reference guide corrections.

On the Homes front, LEED for BD+C: Multifamily Midrise projects should check out Form Update ID #5000073 if they are using ASHRAE 90.1-2010 per LI ID #10421.

Notes on the January 2017 Release

The January 2017 addenda items focus mainly on LEED v4 but LEED 2009 project teams will see a few items of interest as well.

USGBC published 18 corrections to the LEED v4 Reference Guides for commercial projects (ID #100002129-100002146). While many of the corrections deal with clarifying guidance for group and campus projects, Correction ID #100002129 updates Step-by-Step Guidance for Option 1. Simulation–Spatial Daylight Autonomy of EQc7: Daylight in ID+C.

There are three modifications contained in Correction ID #100002139 for the Residential Simulation Guidelines for Minimum Energy Performance in New Construction (EAp2), Homes, and Multifamily Midrise projects.

The Step-by-Step Guidance for both credit options is updated for EQc4: Indoor Air Quality Assessment in BD+C and ID+C via Correction ID #100002141.

Correction ID #100002142 is both a Rating System and Reference Guide Correction for BD+C and ID+C for EQc2: Low-Emitting Materials. It revises credit requirements for furniture evaluation to count for half credit, by cost for compliance with Section 7.6.1 of ANSI/BIFMA e3-2011 Furniture Sustainability Standard and full credit, by cost for compliance with Section 7.6.2.

Projects using the Natural Ventilation option of EQc1: Enhanced Indoor Air Quality Strategies will get new information related to room-by-room calculation compliance via Correction ID #100002146.

While USGBC updated the online versions of the v4 Reference Guides with the corrections outlined above, it is trying to decide when the PDF (e-document) versions will be updated. Initial speculation is July 2017. 

For commercial projects, there are two new LEED Interpretations for LEED v4 and one corrected and one retired LEED Interpretation for LEED 2009. Since last quarter, USGBC also updated three offline calculators for LEED 2009 and v4 commercial projects.

In addition, LI ID #10458 is available for LEED v4 for Neighborhood Development projects needing help determining various connectivity measures. And LEED v4 for Homes and Multifamily Midrise projects should check out the changes to the Homes and Multifamily workbook sample outlined in Form Update ID #5000065.

Notes on October 2016 Release

Most of the October 2016 items are for LEED v4 project teams, but there are a few updated tools and resources for LEED 2009 project teams too. For commercial projects, there are three new LEED Interpretations for LEED v4 and one for LEED 2009.

USGBC published 15 corrections to the LEED v4 Reference Guides for commercial projects (ID #100002112-100002125 and 100002128). Corrections ID #100002112-100002115 are for the LEED v4 O+M Reference Guide and focus on a new USGBC-approved program Product Manufacturer Supply Chain Optimization for MRc3: Purchasing - Facility Maintenance and Renovation.

Similarly in the v4 BD+C and ID+C Reference Guides, Corrections ID #100002116-100002125 add details on Product Manufacturer Supply Chain Optimization to the Building Product Disclosure & Optimization: Material Ingredients credits.

Project teams working on LEED v4 multifamily residential projects with fewer stories will be interested in the changes made to the LEED Rating System Selection. Designed to increase flexibility to users, now LEED v4 Building Design + Construction (BD+C) projects with 4 stories or more can use New Construction or Multifamily Midrise. Replaced by the Reference Guide Correction ID #10002128, the old text previously allowed high rise residential projects to use New Construction only for projects with 9 stories or more. The New Options for Residential LEED Projects article outlines more details. In addition, there are two corrections for the Homes and Multifamily Midrise rating systems and BD+C: Homes Reference Guide related to the ventilation prerequisite. 

Since last quarter, USGBC updated five offline calculators and one form for LEED 2009 and v4 projects. As noted in our review of the July Addenda, these updates are now outlined in the Quarterly Update and can be found in Addenda Database by using the Entry type filter and choosing “Form Update” from the dropdown menu. Users searching in the database should note that form updates are independent of the scheduled Quarterly Updates and released whenever changes are made, so some dates are earlier than the release date of the Quarterly Update. 

For instance, all LEED 2009 and v4 BD+C and ID+C teams will benefit from the updates to the respective Minimum Energy Performance Calculators (for v2009 and v4) outlined in ID #5000062, which was updated in September 2016. In addition, BD+C: Data Centers and LEED 2009 data center projects will benefit from the updates to the Minimum Energy Performance Data Center Calculator outlined in ID #5000061. Teams working on O+M projects and using Case 2, Option 2 or Option 3 will benefit from fixes to the form outlined in ID #5000063. In addition for O+M projects, ID #5000064 provides a correction to the formula for weighted average for lamps in the Sustainable Purchasing Calculator.

USGBC also published two new LEED Interpretations for LEED for Neighborhood Development projects related to projects modeled with earlier versions of ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G (see LI ID #10450 and 10451 for details).

Notes on July 2016 Release

LEED practitioners working on commercial projects will see updates for LEED 2009 (v3) and v4 in the July 2016 Quarterly Update for Addenda including eight new LEED Interpretations and one update to an existing LEED Interpretation.

USGBC also updated the LEED v4 Reference Guide for Building Operations and Maintenance to address the new to LEED building type: existing multifamily projects. USGBC created a rating system adaptation for this new building type and incorporated guidance that applies to any existing multifamily project with 20 or more units. There are 34 pages of corrections for O+M Reference Guide, which also include several corrections for the O+M Rating System. 

In addition, USGBC updated the LEED v4 Building Design and Construction and Interior Design and Construction Reference Guides. For BD+C, these changes focus on WEp1 (Water Efficiency Prerequisite Outdoor Water Use Reduction), WEc1 (Water Efficiency Credit Outdoor Water Use Reduction), EAp1 (Energy & Atmosphere Prerequisite Fundamental CommissioningThe process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. and Verification), EAc1 (Energy & Atmosphere Credit Enhanced Commissioning), EQp1 (Indoor Environmental Quality Prerequisite Minimum Indoor Air Quality performance), and EQc7 (Indoor Environmental Quality Credit Daylight). For ID+C, these changes focus on EAp1 (Energy & Atmosphere Prerequisite Fundamental Commissioning and Verification), EAc1 (Energy & Atmosphere Credit Enhanced Commissioning), EAc3 (Energy & Atmosphere Credit Advanced Energy Metering), and IEQc7 (Indoor Environmental Quality Credit Daylight).

In addition, USGBC updated 6 offline calculators for LEED 2009 and v4. And thanks to feedback, USGBC is now publishing calculator updates in Addenda Database along with a description of changes. USGBC will also publish a summary of changes as part of the Quarterly Addenda Update. 

Rounding out the quarter, USGBC published four new pilot credits a pilot Alternative Compliance Path (ACP) for LEED 2009 and/or v4. Topics for the pilot credits include ISO 5002 Energy Audits, Integrative Process for Health Promotion, Building Material Human Hazard & Exposure Assessment, and Water Restoration Certifications. The pilot ACP allows BD+C, ID+C, and Homes Midrise to use metered energy performance data as an alternative performance method for documenting performance improvement when using Option 1 Whole Building Simulation path.

Outside of the commercial building realm, there are 2 new LIs for Homes and Multifamily Midrise in LEED v4 for international projects outside of the United States and Canada. 

Notes on April 2016 release

LEED practitioners will see updates for LEED v4 in the April 2016 Quarterly Update for Addenda including thirteen rating system and reference guide corrections—mostly in the Materials and Resources category (see New Ways to Meet LEED v4 Ingredient Disclosure on BuildingGreen). In addition, three calculators were updated for LEED v4. Rounding out the quarter, new Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs) for Latin America and a variety of new pilot credits including a pilot ACP are available for LEED 2009 and v4. (Read more here about the difference between a pilot credit and a pilot ACP.) 

Outside of the commercial building realm, there are 7 new LIs for Homes—both LEED 2008 (v3) and v4. There is one rating system correction and one new pilot credit for Neighborhood Development.

Notes on the January 2016 release

LEED practitioners who dig into both the LEED Online 2016 Upgrades that occurred over the holidays and the January 2016 Quarterly Update for Addenda will see a lot changes—including updates to the familiar look and feel of the LEED 2009 credit forms. Read more about the LEED Online 2016 Upgrades as part of our new LEED Online status report forum.

Notes on the July 2014 Release

Editor's note: If you're reading this page in reverse chronological order, you'll notice that entries from this date and backwards are in a different format than later dates.

USGBC published 10 LEED Interpretations (10388-10397). Here are quick summaries of all the interpretations. Several of these involve considerable detail; reviewing the full text in the Interpretations database if the ruling applies to your project is recommended.

  • 10244: Revisions to LEED Interpretation 10244 clarify how the commissioning agent (for EAc3) can be included in single-entity contracting methods. The "ruling has been reversed and revised to allow the CxAThe commissioning authority (CxA) is the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements. to be contracted to the general contractor or a subcontractor of the general contractor in limited circumstances."
  • 10388: For all LEED 2009 and v4 rating system, the environmental tobacco smoke (ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer.) prerequisite applies to e-cigarettes as well as conventional cigarettes. USGBC cites the World Health Organization, stating that "e-cigarettes should be prohibited anywhere where the use of conventional cigarettes is prohibited."
  • 10389: To sum this one up, directed biogas is off-site renewable energy—not onsite. If purchasing biogas to comply with LEED-EBOM EAc4, purchasing biogas that is fed into utility pipelines that also serve other buildings does not qualify as onsite renewable consumption.
  • 10390: How should purchased renewable energy fuels be treated in the energy model for BD&C EAp2? In short, the energy source may not be modeled as "free," because it is purchased.
  • 10391: In LEED Healthcare and Schools for v4 SSp Environmental Site Assessment,  ASTMVoluntary standards development organization which creates source technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services E1527-13 (or local equivalent) can be substituted for ASTM E1527-05.
  • 10392: Provides clarification on leakage rateThe speed at which an appliance loses refrigerant, measured between refrigerant charges or over 12 months, whichever is shorter. The leakage rate is expressed in terms of the percentage of the appliance's full charge that would be lost over a 12-month period if the rate stabilized. (EPA Clean Air Act, Title VI, Rule 608). calculations for LEED-EBOM EAp3
  • 10393–4: Guidance on LEED for Homes and load sizing calculations.
  • 10395–6: Clarifies for LEED for Homes projects in California how to handle Title-24 2013.
  • 10397: Introduces a new compliance path for EAc2 under LEED 2009, to encourage onsite renewables for facilities that have high process loads (over 60%) but not enough space to install adequate renewable energy equipment. The Interpretation introduces new targets for these facilities, while also requiring optimizing energy performance under EAc1.

Notes on the April 2014 Release

USGBC published 20 new LEED Interpretations (10368–10382), mainly for Homes and Multifamily Midrise, which represented 15 of them. We don't see anything groundbreaking here, but individual projects will find these Interpretations useful. Here are the highlights:

  • 10368: How residential projects can achieve LEED-CI SSc3.2: 1) Completely residential building? Provide covered bicycle parking for 15% residential users. 2) Mixed use building? Provide 15% covered bicycle parking for residents and 5% for users of commercial space, including the required showers.
  • 10369: New construction projects in California can use CALGreen’s “Clean Air Vehicle” signage as a substitute LEV/FEV signage and the carpool/vanpool signage requirements. Must use a 10% threshold to cover all vehicle classifications.
  • 10370: Identifies a 90% threshold for exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. for donating offsite land to a land trust when pursuing case 2 under SSc5.1.
  • 10371: Defines conditions under which projects can claiming energy savings for demand-controlled garage ventilation by modeling it as an ECMEnergy conservation measures are installations or modifications of equipment or systems intended to reduce energy use and costs..
  • 10372: This clarifies something that has been a point of confusion for many project teams. What to do about wood products that may have overlapping claims under MRc4 (recycled content) and MRc7 (certified woodWood from a source that has been determined, through a certification process, to meet stated ecological and other criteria. There are numerous forest certification programs in general use based on several standards, but only the Forest Stewardship Council's standards, which include requirements that the wood be tracked through its chain-of-custody, can be used to qualify wood for a point in the LEED Rating System.)? "Products identified as FSCIndependent, third-party verification that forest products are produced and sold based on a set of criteria for forest management and chain-of-custody controls developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international nonprofit organization. FSC criteria for certifying forests around the world address forest management, legal issues, indigenous rights, labor rights, multiple benefits, and environmental impacts. Mix Credit or FSC Mix [NN] % also have pre- or post-consumerWaste generated by end users (households or commercial, industrial and institutional facilities) of a product no longer able to be used for its intended purpose that is recycled into raw material for a new product. recycled content, the latter of which is commonly reported separately by the product manufacturer. In these instances the project team must choose whether to classify the product (or some fraction of the assembly) as FSC certified or as recycled content; the material cannot contribute to both claims simultaneously." (See more discussion of this on our MRc7 page.)

Six Interpretations were modified with new notes and updated rulings:

  • 2432: Is not consistent with #10370, so it was clarified that this interpretation, which disallows off-site conservation for SSc5.1, is not applicable to LEED 2009.
  • 10004: and 10005: Superseded; out of date advice on use of a shuttle line for SSc4. This interpretation no long applicable to LEED 2009.
  • 10236: Clarifies what aspects of this key Interpretation on lighting boundaries apply to LEED-ND.
  • 10204: Addresses "use of non-least toxic pesticides or rodenticides as pest control in areas requiring frequent treatment on a permanent basis" and has been updated to include LEED-EBOM 2009.

We're not going to go into detail with the Homes-related Interpretations here, but a couple we thought were interesting are:

  • 10377: An internationally applicable list of invasive plants, at ISSG.org.
  • 10378: Projects outside the U.S. can use non-Energy Star certified products if they meet the criteria.

Notes on the January 2014 Release

USGBC published 71 new LEED Interpretations on 1/1/2014, numbering 10292, and 10298-10367). Almost all of them are for Homes and Mid-rise (10303–10367). Let's look at the Interpretations of significant to commercial projects:

  • 10292: States how EBOM MRc7 can be achieved by individual building projects on a campus where there is no tracking of ongoing consumables waste at the building level. "The credit may be earned at individual buildings if both the campus-level diversion rate and the building-level diversion rate revealed in a waste audit exceed the minimum threshold."
  • 10298: Rejects a proposed strategy for O+M projects to comply with light pollution reduction requirements in which certain light meter readings would be excluded due to uncertainty about the accuracy of those readings.
  • 10299: With relevance to BD+C EAp2, this Interpretation approves the use of ASHRAE Interpretation “ASHRAE/IES IC 90.1-2007-14,” which states that the baseline pump power cited in Section G3.1.3.10 was developed as 22 W/gpm total for all baseline chilled water pumps.
  • 10300: "Can the definition of renewable energy sources [for EAc2] be modified to include all clean urban wood waste, invasive species, habitat restoration programs, clean industrial wood waste (pallets), and tree tops left over from logging operations?" The answer is "yes," with certain conditions, including documentation that the wood waste would have otherwise been landfilled or burned.
  • 10301: Allows plastic trash can liners to count as sustainable under EBOM IEQc3.3 even without recycled content, if they are truly compostable according to FTC Green Guides.
  • 10302: For LEED-ND, emphasizes the importance of connectivity at ground level, not through multiple levels such as skywalks.

USGBC also modified several Interpretations with new notes, updated rulings, etc. These inquiry numbers are: 2777 (Homes), 2778 (Homes), and the following with commercial relevance:

  • 3300: What's new here is recogntion of advanced air sealing: "Projects wishing to claim energy savings from advanced air sealing may do so given they... Utilize Addendum ag to Standard 90.1-2010 to document savings," and several other requirements.
  • 2045 and 5061: These Interpretations have basically been updated to reflect what has been in the IEQc5 credit language for a long time: MERVMinimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating is an American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) measurement scale which rates the effectiveness of air filters. -13 filtration is not required on recirculated air.
  • 10097: This Interpretation was rescinded because it is redundant with #2467.

Notes on the October 2013 Release

USGBC published 13 new LEED Interpretations (#10283-10291, 10293-10296).

  • 10284: Desalinated seawater that is not treated to potable drinking water standards may be applied as a non-potable waterWater that meets or exceeds U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking water quality standards (or a local equivalent outside the U.S.) and is approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction; it may be supplied from wells or municipal water systems. source in the following credits: WEc1, WEc2, WEc4 (EBOM), WEc4.2 (Healthcare), WEc4 (Schools), but not WEp1/WEc3, the basic indoor water efficiency credits, because the focus of these is efficiency and onsite reuse. Projects wishing to apply seawater to WEp1 may do so by meeting additional thresholds, including the seawater being "Municipally supplied or explicitly approved by the municipality for on-site treatment systems."
  • 10285: For EAp2, answers the question, "What is considered 'hybrid' heating?" In other words, when a building heat source in Table G3.1.1A should be identified as "Fossil/Electric Hybrid" versus "Electric."
  • 10286: When in Brazil, and using a centrifugal chiller that is not AHRI-certified, and there are no labs capable of performing that certificaiton, what to do in EAp2? This Interpretation gives several options, including testing to an equivalent standard, or conducting testing during commissioning.
  • 10287: MasterFormat 2010 is accepted. "It is acceptable to use new or updated versions of CSI Master Format editions."
  • 10288: Bottled water is by definition not a sustainable purchase under EBOM MRc5, and you must include it in your food and beverage calculations. Use tap water instead! (Bottle fillers are great.)
  • 10290: Under EBOM SSc4, "Ethanol fueled vehicles can count towards as a portion of a qualifying alternative transportation trip equivalent to the percentage of ethanol that is in the ethanol fuel blend." For example, 10 trips using E85 would count as 8.5 alternative transportation trips.
  • 10291: For EAp2, provides conditions for considering the unregulated process load separately from the ASHRAE 90.1 energy model.
  • 10293: If unable to track durable goodsProducts with a useful life of approximately two or more years and that are replaced infrequently. Examples include furniture, office equipment, appliances, external power adapters, televisions, and audiovisual equipment. at the building level, outlines a campus approach to durable waste goods diversion for EBOM MRc8.
  • 10294: Clarifies what items are considered casework and built-in millwork that must be included in the base buildingThe base building includes elements such as the structure, envelope, and building-level mechanical systems, such as central HVAC, and materials and products installed in the project (e.g., flooring, casework, wall coverings). documentation (in MRc3-7 and IEQc4.4), rather than furniture.
  • 10295: Under IEQc4.2,  paints and coatings that comply with the California Air Resources Board (CARBThe California Air Resources Board, part of the state government, is charged with maintaining clean air. This agency is unique at the state level: California was the only state that had such an agency before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, and was allowed to keep it.) 2007, Suggested Control Measure (SCM) for Architectural Coatings meet the requirements of this credit, as an alternative to Green Seal GS-11 1993, Green Seal GCA General Contractor (GC) manages, coordinates, and oversees building construction; may perform some construction tasks; and is responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors. 03 2nd Edition 1997, and SCAQMDSouth Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency that regulates stationary air pollution sources in parts of southern California, including Orange County and most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County. Rule 1113 2004.
  • 10296: Clarifies FSC documentation under MRc7 when CoCChain of custody is a procedure that tracks a product from the point of harvest or extraction to its end use, including all successive stages of processing, transformation, manufacturing, and distribution. A chain-of-custody certificate number on invoices for nonlabeled products indicates that the certifier guidelines for product accounting have been followed. A chain-of-custody certification is not required by distributors of a product that is individually labeled with the Forest Stewardship Council logo and manufacturer's chain-of-custody number. Chain of Custody (CoC) certification requirements are determined by Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody Standard 40-004 v2-1. claims cannot be passed on the final invoice to the project team.

Numerous Interpretations were also updated to apply to more credits. The following updates are more substantive:

  • 2021 and 5177: The exterior entrances to loading docks and garages are not required to have entryway systems. Regularly used entrances from these areas into adjacent spaces in the building (typically office areas of the building) must have entryway systems.
  • 10039: Clarified that walk-in coolers can only be excluded if not in scope of work.
  • 10024: Ruling reversed: a data center may not be excluded from the EAp2 energy simulation if it is in the LEED boundary.
  • 5222: Revoked and aligned with 10062: rocks are land-clearing debris and can't contribute to MRc2, etc. "Materials found on site that are not part of a previous construction (raw materials like clay, limestone, and rock) that are not reused or re-processed for beneficial or an open market product are considered land clearing debris and are excluded from credit calculation."
  • 10279: Relative to IEQc7.1, subtle "clarifications" to this Interpretation which deals with spaces that fall outside of the scope of ASHRAE 55-2004 because the physical activity levels result in a time-averaged MET above 2.0.
  • 10256: Rescinded: you may not earn ID credit simply for being in a LEED-ND neighborhood. Strategies are similar and would result in double-counting.
  • 10220: Elaborates on this EBOM EAp2 ruling, which deals with "projects where process loads associated with manufacturing or industrial processes comprise more than 60% of the total project energy consumption, AND where the project is not eligible for an ENERGY STAR rating, AND where comparable building data is not available."
  • 10212 and 10211: Updated to align with #10284, on seawater.
  • 10091: For EAp2, projects are eligible to claim more than 4 points from process energy efficiency savings. This guidance supersedes CIR 2/9/2009 which placed 4 point maximum limit on process energy savings.

Notes on the April 2013 Release

Eight new LEED Interpretations were published 4/1/2013, #10275–10282. Here are highlights:

  • 10276: Clarifies that campus projects may utilize a wastewater treatment facility located outside of the LEED project boundary as long as it is within the campus boundary, and treated water must be infiltrated or used onsite by the project. It also notes that nonpotable waterNonpotable water: does not meet EPA's drinking water quality standards and is not approved for human consumption by the state or local authorities having jurisdiction. Water that is unsafe or unpalatable to drink because it contains pollutants, contaminants, minerals, or infective agents. supplied to a project by such a campus system would be considered like a municipally supplied source for other WE credits.
  • 10279: Disallows excluding high-activity spaces like gyms, or spaces that normally are not conditioned like warehouses from IEQc7, but offers an alternative calculation method for gyms, and an alternate compliance method for warehouses based on design alternatives such as radiant flooring; circulating fans; passive systems, such as nighttime air, heat venting, or wind flow; and localized active cooling. We asked our LEEDuser expert Chris Schaffner of The Green Engineer what he thought about this Intepretation. He says it clarifies things, but doesn't help where help is needed: '95% of the people struggling with this are public schools with gyms. They should just make the gyms exempt,'" he opined.

USGBC also modified 6 Interpretations with new notes and applicability. Those numbers are: 1956, 5819, 10062, 10117, 10217, and 10250. Here are some highlights that we noticed:

  • 10250: This ruling on melamine formaldehyde1. Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC found in small amounts in animals and plants but is carcinogenic and an irritant to most people when present in high concentrations, causing headaches, dizziness, mental impairment, and other symptoms. When present in the air at levels above 0.1 ppm, it can cause watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; nausea; coughing; chest tightness; wheezing; skin rashes; and asthmatic and allergic reactions. 2. A known carcinogen with no known safe exposure level. Formaldehyde occurs naturally, but appears in unnaturally high concentra­tions in many buildings because it is an ingredient in binders used in many building materials and furnishings. has been updated—we have more detail here about the New Rules for Formaldehyde in IEQc4.4.
  • 10217: This ruling was updated on 4/1/13. It states that all LEED projects can choose to include or exclude athletic fields at the project teams discretion from BD&C WEc1 and EBOM WEc3, but that this should be done consistently with other credits. The 4/1/13 update specifies that they should be included or excluded consistenlty with other WE credits.
  • 5819: Originally issued 8/31/2004, this Interpretation has been made applicable to NC-v2.2 and NC-v2009 projects, and thereby gives clear direction on how to earn an Exemplary Performance point under IDc1 for process waterProcess water is used for industrial processes and building systems such as cooling towers, boilers, and chillers. It can also refer to water used in operational processes, such as dishwashing, clothes washing, and ice making. use reduction. A process is described for demonstrating a "process water savings that is equal to or greater than 10% of the regulated water usage as calculated in WEc3.

Notes on the January 2013 Release

See all 16 new 1/1/2013 LEED Interpretations: #10259–10274. (note: you may need to sign in to USGBC.org for this link and other links below to work). Here are some highlights from the 1/1/2013 quarterly release: (not mentioned here are a couple with limited applicability, and a couple less-interesting Homes and ND interpretations)

  • 10246: A confusing Interpretation on using national averages for recycled content claims has been clarified, and is less restrctive than it immediately appeared.
  • 10259: Allowance for LEED-EBOM Residential projects with non-master metered units to collect a statistically significant sample of utility data from the residential unit space.
  • 10261: Clarification that the LEED project boundary may be different than the boundary drawn for ENERGY STAR for LEED-EBOM projects.
  • 10263: Applicable under CI EAc1.3, a proposal to expand an exemption for active controls for small temporary use office spaces is turned down—with considerable detail.
  • 10264: Applicable to EBOM EAc4, points for cannot be achieved based on PV system specifications in lieu of actual solar system performance monitoring during the performance period.
  • 10265: Guidance on using shared dumpsters for one-off LEED projects for MRc2. It's allowed, with some conditions.
  • 10267: When claiming a mineral-based flooring exemption under IEQc4.3, mark an ACP and enter product details in the narrative (rather than entering the product in the main credit form).
  • 10268: Details on the A/V dual-mode lighting requirement for Schools IEQc6.1. Any strategy that allows easy switching to an A/V friendly lighting environment, i.e. with reduced illumination on a projection screen, is acceptable.
  • 10270: How to earn an ID credit under BD&C systems for construction energy use related to lighting and temporary heat. Detailed requirements.
  • 10271: A "green team" strategy to recognize individuals for commitments to environmental awareness actions is not a viable Innovation credit unto itself—proven innovation credits relative to education focus on multiple strategies relative to the building. (Applicable to EBOM, but a good lesson more generally.)
  • 10274: CC&R (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions) exemption for existing residential properties in ND projects that are not 100% newly developed.
  • Also, 28 Interpretations have been modified with new notes, applicability matrices, etc. Those 28 inquiry numbers are: 808, 1547, 1622, 1741, 1898, 2342, 3105, 5033, 5115, 5272, 5819, 5847, 5986, 10080, 10114, 10120, 10146, 10202, 10215, 10216, 10223, 10236, 10239, 10241, 10243, 10246, 10250, 10252.

Editor's note: for earlier addenda, see our blog post, A Guide to the Key LEED BD&C v2009 Addenda.

Highlights for all Rating Systems

And now we'll dive into highlights organized by rating system (see above for highlights organized by release date).

Highlights for BD+C

Minimum Program Requirements (BD+C)

LEED 2009 for New Construction (other than Core & Shell): USGBC updated LI ID #10102 to provide additional guidance for projects where up to 10% of the building gross square footageSum of the floor areas of the spaces within the building including basements, mezzanine and intermediate-floored tiers, and penthouses with headroom height of 7.5 ft or greater. It is measured from the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the centerline of walls separating buildings, but excluding covered walkways, open roofed-over areas, porches and similar spaces, pipe trenches, exterior terraces or steps, chimneys, roof overhangs, and similar features. or 20,000 gsf (whichever is smaller) contains incomplete space. These teams will not be required to provide an Owner’s Letter of Commitment or Tenant Guidelines during the LEED certification submittal. (January 2017)

LEED 2009 for Core & Shell: USGBC also updated LI ID #10102 to provide additional guidance for C&S projects where up to 10% of the building gross square footage or 20,000 gsf (whichever is smaller) contains incomplete space. The update exempts projects from providing binding Tenant Sales and/or Lease Agreements for the purpose of demonstrating compliance for certain prerequisites and credits for Case C in the LEED Core & Shell Appendix 4 (EAp3, EAc4, IEQp1, IEQc1, IEQc2, IEQc5, IEQc6, and IEQc7). (January 2017)

Water Efficiency (BD+C)

WEp1 and WEc3 in LEED 2009 for New Construction: Form Update ID #5000071 created a v07 version of the Water Use Reduction Calculator that fixes the ice machine baseline number for retail BD+C and ID+C 2009 projects. (January 2017)

WEp2 and WEc2 in LEED v4 for New Construction: LI ID #10459 allows automated-maintenance urinals that use less than 150 gallons per year to be considered waterless and indicates that you don't include the water volume in the Indoor Water Use Reduction Calculator. Teams must provide manufacturer documentation to verify annual volume of water used. In addition, LEED v4 teams will appreciate the flow fixture calculation change to allow for savings from non-default duration uses made to the Indoor Water Use Calculator (v03) via Form Update ID #5000072. (January 2017)

WEc3 in LEED 2009 for New Construction, Core & Shell, Schools, Retail, and Healthcare: USGBC updated the Water Use Reduction Additional Guidance document to Version 9 and corrected seven LEED Interpretations (LI ID #1551, 1576, 10012, 10211, 10212, 10276, and 10284) to utilize new guidance related to applying campus or municipally supplied alternative water sources (like reclaimed treated wastewater and seawater) to credit achievement. (Note: WEp1 must be achieved through project fixture and fitting efficiency measures alone.) However, all v2009 BD+C teams should review the Version 9 Guidance document because it now contains help on using the offline Water Use Reduction Calculator that was part of the v06 forms release (see LEED Online update in January 2016 for more information). (October 2016)

WEc1 in LEED 2009 for New Construction: LEED 2009 teams eager to use the EPA Water Budget Tool referenced in LEED v4 now have a methodology per LI ID #10440. However, this is not a LEED v4 credit substitution, and teams must still document the LEED 2009 thresholds and not exceed controller efficiency savings of 30%. (July 2016)

WEp1 and WEc1 in LEED v4 BD+C: USGBC issued a revised Outdoor Water Use Reduction Calculator that removes references to “pool, spa, or water feature” throughout the calculator. (April 2016)

Energy and Atmosphere (BD+C)

EAp2 in LEED 2009 (v3) and LEED v4: Form Update ID #5000076 created a v08 version of the Minimum Energy Performance Calculator that fixes various bugs and adds the functionality of automatically importing eQUEST and TRACE files into the calculator. (April 2017)

EAp2 in LEED v4: Reference Guide Correction ID #100002152 provides guidance for projects where there are no tariffs or rates available from the district energy system serving the project. (April 2017) 

EAc3 in LEED v4 for Core & Shell: USGBC wraps several edits for Core & Shell projects into Reference Guide Correction ID #100002150. It eliminates Step 2 in Step-by-Step Guidance, clarifies which sources must have advanced metering for tenants, and provides examples. (April 2017)

EAp2 in LEED 2009 for New Construction: For laboratory projects using ASHRAE 90.1-2007, LI ID #10453 allows the use of ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Appendix G laboratory modeling requirements and/or ASHRAE 90.1-2010 addendum for laboratories. (October 2016)

EAp1 and EAc3 in LEED 2009 for New Construction: Projects that have more than one commissioning agent (CxACommissioning authority: the individual designated to organize, lead, and review the completion of commissioning process activities. The CxA facilitates communication among the owner, designer, and contractor to ensure that complex systems are installed and function in accordance with the owner's project requirements.) on a project no longer have to guess what "lead," "review," and "oversee" mean. LI ID #10446 clarifies the lead CxA should be participating in all commissioning (Cx) activities including both fundamental and enhanced Cx activities and outlines a list of specific of tasks required for the prerequisite and credit. (July 2016)

EAp1 and EAc1 in LEED v4 for New Construction: Paralleling LI ID #10446 for LEED 2009, LI ID #10447 defines what "oversee" and "coordinate" entail for LEED v4 projects with more than one CxA. The lead CxA should be participating in all commissioning (Cx) activities including both fundamental and enhanced Cx activities and the LI outlines a list of specific of tasks required for the prerequisite and credit. The only exception to this is for building envelope as the lead CxA does not need to provide oversight for this activity, and the building envelope CxA may be completely independent of the lead CxA. Yet in this scenario the building envelope CxA must meet the qualification requirements for the CxA: documented experience on at least two other building projects and may be a qualified employee of the owner, an independent consultant, or a disinterested subcontractor of the design team. (July 2016)

EAp2 and EAc1 in LEED 2009 for New Construction: For projects registered after 4/8/2016, USGBC updated LI ID 10421 to reflect the LEED 2009 minimum point requirement. For projects using ASHRAE 90.1-2010 and subject to the mandatory Optimize Energy Performance point minimum, the LI update outlines what that if the project compliances with all LEED v4 Minimum Energy Performance requirements for the relevant LEED v4 rating system, then the project satisfies the EAp2 mandatory minimum regardless of the number of points achieved when applying this LI. Points for EAc1 are still awarded via the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Adjusted Points Scale for LEED v2009 for projects following the Performance path but projects following a Prescriptive path earn zero points. (July 2016)

EAc4 in LEED 2009 and EAc6 in LEED v4 for New Construction: Projects connected to district energy systems now have an Alternative Refrigeration Impact calculation methodology to take credit for the portion of the cooling that is provided by systems that contain no refrigerants via LI ID #10448. Teams using this methodology need to be aware that the refrigerant impact per ton is reduced to 75 from the allowed 100 in the regular compliance path calculation. (July 2016)

EAc6 in LEED 2009 for New Construction: Better than a direct LEED v4 credit substitution, LI ID #10449 allows LEED 2009 projects to now use carbon offsets instead of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to achieve the Green Power credit. LEED 2009 projects will utilize the LEED v4 EAc7 (Energy & Atmosphere Credit Green Power and Carbon Offsets) credit requirements; however, the LEED 2009 threshold of 35% for 2 years remains but now must be applied to the building’s annual energy consumption as required in LEED v4 vs. the annual electricity consumption as required in LEED 2009. (Note: LEED v4 requires a 50% offset of annual energy consumption for 5 years to earn 1 point.) Projects seeking Exemplary Performance for an Innovation in Design point in LEED 2009 still only need to meet a 70% offset for 2 years but the offset is again applied to annual energy consumption. (July 2016) 

EAp2 in LEED 2009 (v3): As part of the v06 forms upgrade, USGBC is now allowing LEED 2009 projects to use the Minimum Energy Performance Data Center offline calculator that was originally created for LEED v4 projects. (January 2016)

EAp2 in LEED 2009 (v3) and LEED v4: As part of the v06 forms upgrade, USGBC released or updated the offline calculators for these prerequisites. Group certification projects must use the offline calculator. Teams with single buildings can use the calculator in lieu of the Section 1.4 spreadsheet. Projects using ASHRAE 90.1-2010 per LI ID #10421 should use the LEED v4 version of this offline calculator. (January 2016)

EAp2 in LEED 2009 (v3) and LEED v4: Vestibule-less projects rejoice! LI #10426 provides projects in locations where local code does not require vestibules or revolving doors two options to calculate an energy penalty. Teams can either take a default deduction (download Table 1 - Default Deduction for Vestibules from Related Resources within the addenda) or provide an exceptional calculation method using PNNL-20026 “Energy Saving Impact of ASHRAE 90.1 Vestibule Requirements: Modeling of Air Infiltration through Door Openings.” All teams must provide a narrative regarding how the design addresses infiltration and exfiltrationExfiltration is air leakage through cracks and interstices and through the ceilings, floors, and walls. of air through building entries. (January 2016)

EAc2 in LEED 2009 (v3) and EAc5 in LEED v4: While not allowing credit for deep-water Lake Source Cooling that replaces the refrigeration cycle as on-site renewable energy, LI ID #10429 directs to teams to use ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G to take credit for this efficient strategy under Optimize Energy Performance. (January 2016)

EAp2 and EAc1 in LEED 2009 (v3): As part of the v06 forms upgrade, projects using the Option 2 - Advanced Energy Design guides now have an offline calculator to assist with documentation. (January 2016)

EAc1 in LEED 2009 (v3) for Retail: Retail projects using Option 1 can use this offline calculator to document energy efficiency savings for commercial kitchen equipment, supermarket refrigeration equipment, walk-in cooler or freezers, or commercial kitchen ventilation. (January 2016)

Materials & Resources (BD+C)

MRc4 in LEED v4: USGBC added two new certification programs and modifies Manufacturer Inventory language for Option 1 with Correction ID #100002163. This correction also adds an international ACP for using REACH under Option 2. (April 2017)

MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7 in LEED 2009 for New Construction: Teams who had trouble documenting regional materials will appreciate the release of a new MR Calculator (v08) that addresses those issues via Form Update ID #5000064. (January 2017) 

MRc3 in LEED v4 for BD+C: LI ID #10455 allows the use of ANSI/NSF 373 Sustainable Production of Natural Dimension Stone as USGBC-approved program under Option 1 of this credit, which grants third party verification (full credit) if the stone facility has earned certification, made its scorecard publicly available, and earned either credit 7.2.1 or 7.2.2. (October 2016)

MRc3 in LEED v4 for New Construction: Teams familiar with MRc5: Regional Materials and its addenda in LEED 2009 will recognize the ruling made for the point of extraction for recycled materials for LEED v4 in LI ID #10441. For Option 1, Raw Material Source and Extraction Reporting, the extraction point for recycled materials is the location of the raw material prior to manufacturing of the final building product. This LI further outlines that the point of manufacture for recycled products is manufacturing location of the final product manufacturer and that products that source from multiple suppliers must list all of them along with the amount of materials procured from each. (July 2016)

MRp2 and MRc5 in LEED v4: Rating System Correction ID #100002057 and 100002056 clear up an inconsistency between the credit requirements and the Reference Guide language by clarifying in the requirements that alternative daily coverMaterial other than earthen material placed on the surface of the active face of a municipal solid waste landfill at the end of each operating day to control vectors, fires, odors, blowing litter, and scavenging. Generally these materials must be processed so they do not allow gaps in the exposed landfill face. (ADCAlternative daily covers are material other than earthen material placed on the surface of the active face of a municipal solid waste landfill at the end of each operating day to control vectors, fires, odors, blowing litter, and scavenging. Generally these materials must be processed so they do not allow gaps in the exposed landfill face.) must be included in the calculations for waste. (April 2016)

MRp2 and MRc4.1 in LEED 2009 (v3) for Healthcare: As part of the v06 form upgrade, teams can now use the LEED v4 offline PBT Source Reduction Calculator on LEED 2009 Healthcare projects. (January 2016)

MRc3, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7 for LEED 2009 (v3): USGBC combined the BD+C and ID+C MR Calculators into one as part of the v06 forms upgrade; however, as of February 21, 2016, LEEDusers are experiencing problems with this calculator for MRc5 at least. (January 2016)

MRc5 in LEED 2009 (v3) for Healthcare: USGBC created a Furniture and Medical Furnishings offline calculator for this credit as part of the v06 form upgrade. (January 2016)

Indoor Environmental Quality (BD+C)

 

EQc7 in LEED v4 for New Construction (all versions except Core & Shell: EQc2): USGBC updated the newly published (January 2017) LI ID #10457 to add a definition for automated dynamic façade systems referenced in the LI. (April 2017)

EQc7 in LEED v4 for New Construction (all versions except Core & Shell: EQc2): For projects where the Annual Sunlight ExposureA metric that describes the potential for visual discomfort in interior work environments. It is defined as the percentage of an analysis area that exceeds a specified direct sunlight illuminance level more than a specified number of hours per year. threshold value exceeds 10%, LI ID #10457 outlines an alternative strategy to meet Option 1. Simulation: Spatial Daylight Autonomy. (January 2017)

EQc2 in LEED v4 for Schools and Healthcare: Project teams using batt insulation with added formaldehyde now have clarification that this product is not prohibited for schools and healthcare projects. LI ID #10452 spells out these projects should use Option 2 Budget Calculation and cannot include such products as compliant insulation. (October 2016)

EQp2 in LEED v4 for New Construction: LI ID #10045 allows residential project teams outside the United States and Canada using Option 2 - Compartmentalization of smoking areas to perform a visual inspection in lieu of compartmentalization testing. The visual inspection must be performed by a Qualified Energy Rater and each unit must meet the requirements of the Multifamily Midrise Thermal Enclosure Checklist, Section 5 - Air Sealing. (July 2016)

EQp1 and EQc1 for LEED v4: Latin American projects utilizing engineered natural ventilation systems can apply Alternative Compliance Path (ACP) ID #100002060 and 100002059 to utilize a region-specific protocol. (April 2016)

EQc9 in LEED v4 BD+C: The revised Acoustic Performance Calculator had minor updates related to STCSound transmission class (STC) is a single-number rating for the acoustic attenuation of airborne sound passing through a partition or other building element, such as a wall, roof, or door, as measured in an acoustical testing laboratory according to accepted industry practice. A higher STC rating provides more sound attenuation through a partition. (ANSI S12.60–2002) values for rooms to clarify that each surface should have a separate assembly. (April 2016)

IEQc3.2 in LEED 2009 (v3) for Retail: Due to Rating System and Reference Guide Correction #100002043, now retail projects can conduct baseline IAQIndoor air quality: The quality and attributes of indoor air affecting the health and comfort building occupants. IAQ encompasses available fresh air, contaminant levels, acoustics and noise levels, lighting quality, and other factors. testing within 14 days following occupancy (instead of previous requirement that it occur before occupancy). (January 2016) 

IEQp3 and IEQc9 in LEED 2009 (v3) for Schools: USGBC created an offline calculator for acoustic performance as part of the v06 form upgrade. (January 2016)

IEQc8.1 and IEQc8.2 in LEED 2009 (v3) for Healthcare: USGBC updated the Daylight and Views Calculator so it can be used on healthcare projects. (January 2016)

Innovation

Innovation in Design credits in LEED 2009 for New Construction: USGBC retired LI ID #5500 and now directs team to utilize the Innovation Catalog instead of relying on this LI, which previously helped teams determine if a credit from another rating system is a viable innovation credit. (January 2017)

Highlights for ID+C

Minimum Program Requirements (ID+C)

LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors: USGBC updated LI ID #10102 to provide additional guidance for projects where up to 10% of the building gross square footage or 20,000 gsf (whichever is smaller) contains incomplete space. These teams will not be required to provide an Owner’s Letter of Commitment or Tenant Guidelines during the LEED certification submittal. (January 2017)

Water Efficiency (ID+C)

WEp1 and WEc1 in LEED v4 for Commercial Interiors: LI ID #10459 allows automated-maintenance urinals that use less than 150 gallons per year to be considered waterless and indicates that you don't include the water volume in the Indoor Water Use Reduction Calculator. Teams must provide manufacturer documentation to verify annual volume of water used. In addition, LEED v4 teams will appreciate the flow fixture calculation change to allow for savings from non-default duration uses made to the Indoor Water Use Reduction Calculator (v03) via Form Update ID #5000072. (January 2017) 

WEp1 and WEc1 in LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors: Form Update ID #5000071 created a v07 version of the Water Use Reduction Calculator that fixes the ice machine baseline number for retail BD+C and ID+C 2009 projects. (January 2017)

WEc1 in LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors: USGBC updated the Water Use Reduction Additional Guidance document to Version 9 and corrected 7 LEED Interpretations (LI ID #1551, 1576, 10012, 10211, 10212, 10276, and 10284) to utilize new guidance related to applying campus or municipally supplied alternative water sources (like reclaimed treated wastewater and seawater) to credit achievement. (Note: WEp1 must be achieved through project fixture and fitting efficiency measures alone.) However, all v2009 ID+C teams should review the Version 9 Guidance document because it now contains help on using the offline Water Use Reduction Calculator that was part of the v06 forms release (see LEED Online update in January 2016 for more information). (October 2016)

Energy and Atmosphere (ID+C)

EAp2 in LEED 2009 (v3) and LEED v4: Form Update ID #5000076 created a v08 version of the Minimum Energy Performance Calculator that fixes various bugs and adds the functionality of automatically importing eQUEST and TRACE files into the calculator. (April 2017)

EAp2 in LEED v4: Reference Guide Correction ID #100002152 provides guidance for projects where there are no tariffs or rates available from the district energy system serving the project. (April 2017)

EAp2 in LEED v4 for Commercial Interiors: Project teams may now use the existing envelope in the baseline energy model per ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Table G.3.1.5 (baseline) f as an alternative to modeling the ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G prescriptive new construction envelope requirements in the Baseline. Projects considering using this new option should review LI ID #10454 for the revised percentage improvements thresholds that must be achieved. (October 2016)

EAp1 and EAc2 in LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors: Projects that have more than one commissioning agent (CxA) on a project no longer have to guess what "lead," "review," and "oversee" mean. LI ID #10446 clarifies the lead CxA should be participating in all commissioning (Cx) activities including both fundamental and enhanced Cx activities and outlines a list of specific of tasks required for the prerequisite and credit. (July 2016)

EAp1 and EAc1 in LEED v4 for Commercial Interiors: Paralleling LI ID #10446 for LEED 2009, LI ID #10447 defines what "oversee" and "coordinate" entail for LEED v4 projects with more than one CxA. The lead CxA should be participating in all commissioning (Cx) activities including both fundamental and enhanced Cx activities and outlines a list of specific of tasks required for the prerequisite and credit. The only exception to this is for building envelope as the lead CxA does not need to provide oversight for this activity, and the building envelope CxA may be completely independent of the lead CxA. Yet in this scenario the building envelope CxA must meet the qualification requirements for the CxA: documented experience on at least two other building projects and may be a qualified employee of the owner, an independent consultant, or a disinterested subcontractor of the design team. (July 2016)

EAp2 in LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors: For projects registered after 4/8/2016, USGBC updated LI ID 10421 to reflect the LEED 2009 minimum point requirement. For projects using ASHRAE 90.1-2010 and subject to the mandatory Optimize Energy Performance point minimum, the LI update outlines what that if the project compliances with all LEED v4 Minimum Energy Performance requirements for the relevant LEED v4 rating system, then the project satisfies the EAp2 mandatory minimum regardless of the number of points achieved when applying this LI. Points for EAc1 are still awarded via the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Adjusted Points Scale for LEED v2009 for projects following the Performance path but projects following a Prescriptive path earn zero points. (July 2016)

EAc4 in LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors: Better than a direct LEED v4 credit substitution, LI ID #10449 allows LEED 2009 projects to now use carbon offsets instead of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to achieve the Green Power credit. LEED 2009 projects will utilize the LEED v4 EAc7 (Energy & Atmosphere Credit Green Power and Carbon Offsets) credit requirements; however, the LEED 2009 threshold of 35% for 2 years remains but now must be applied to the building’s annual energy consumption as required in LEED v4 vs. the annual electricity consumption as required in LEED 2009. (Note: LEED v4 requires a 50% offset of annual energy consumption for 5 years to earn 1 point.) Projects seeking Exemplary Performance for an Innovation in Design point in LEED 2009 still only need to meet a 70% offset for 2 years but the offset is again applied to annual energy consumption. (July 2016)

EAc3 in LEED 2009: Teams can now earn a portion of the total available points for this credit for projects that have shared air handling units with spaces outside the project boundary. Teams must document the submeteringSubmetering is used to determine the proportion of energy use within a building attributable to specific end uses or subsystems (e.g., the heating subsystem of an HVAC system). and payment requirements have been met for all systems except the shared units. LI #10430 outlines the partial points and the specific documentation required for shared Dedicated Outside Air Systems and shared Air Handling Units. (January 2016)

EAc5 in LEED 2009 (v3) for Retail and EAc4 in LEED v4: While not allowing credit for deep-water Lake Source Cooling that replaces the refrigeration cycle as onsite renewable energy, LI #10429 directs to teams to use ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G to take credit for this efficient strategy under Optimize Energy Performance. (January 2016)

EAp2 in LEED 2009 (v3) and LEED v4: As part of the v06 forms upgrade, USGBC released or updated the offline calculators for these prerequisites. Group certification projects must use this offline calculator. Teams with single buildings can use the calculator in lieu of the Section 1.4 spreadsheet. Projects using ASHRAE 90.1-2010 per LI ID #10421 should use the LEED v4 version of this offline calculator. (January 2016)

Materials & Resources (ID+C)

MRc5 in LEED v4: USGBC added two new certification programs and modifies Manufacturer Inventory language for Option 1 with Correction ID #100002163. This correction also adds an international ACP for using REACH under Option 2. (April 2017)

MRc3.1, MRc3.2, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7 in LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors: Teams who had trouble documenting regional materials will appreciate the release of a new MR Calculator (v08) that addresses those issues via Form Update ID #5000064. (January 2017) 

MRc4 in LEED v4 for Commercial Interiors: LI ID #10455 allows the use of ANSI/NSF 373 Sustainable Production of Natural Dimensioned Stone as USGBC-approved program under Option 1 of this credit, which grants third party verification (full credit) if the stone facility has earned certification, made its scorecard publicly available, and earned either credit 7.2.1 or 7.2.2 (October 2016)

MRc4 in LEED v4 for Commercial Interiors: Teams familiar with MRc5: Regional Materials and its addenda in LEED 2009 will recognize the ruling made for the point of extraction for recycled materials for LEED v4 in LI ID #10441. For Option 1, Raw Material Source and Extraction Reporting, the extraction point for recycled materials is the location of the raw material prior to manufacturing of the final building product. This LI further outlines that the point of manufacture for recycled products is the manufacturing location of the final product manufacturer and that products that source from multiple suppliers must lists all of them along with the amount of materials procured from each. (July 2016)

MRp2 and MRc5 in LEED v4: Rating System Correction ID #100002057 and 100002056 clear up an inconsistency between the credit requirements and the LEED Reference Guide language by clarifying in the requirements that alternative daily cover (ADC) must be included in the calculations for waste. (April 2016)

MRc3.1, MRc3.2, MRc4, MRc5, MRc6, and MRc7 for LEED 2009 (v3): USGBC combined the BD+C and ID+C MR Calculators into one as part of the v06 forms upgrade; however, as of February 21, 2016, LEEDusers are experiencing problems with this calculator for MRc5 at least. (January 2016)

Indoor Environmental Quality (ID+C)

EQc7 in LEED v4: USGBC updated the newly published (January 2017) LI ID #10457 to add a definition for automated dynamic façade systems referenced in the LI ruling. (April 2017)

EQc7 in LEED v4: For projects where the Annual Sunlight Exposure threshold value exceeds 10%, LI ID #10457 outlines an alternative strategy to meet Option 1. Simulation: Spatial Daylight Autonomy. (January 2017)

EQp1 and EQc1 for LEED v4: Latin American projects utilizing engineered natural ventilation systems can apply Alternative Compliance Path (ACP) ID #100002060 and 100002059 to utilize a region-specific protocol. (April 2016)

EQc9 in LEED v4 for Commercial Interiors: The revised Acoustic Performance Calculator had minor updates related to STC values for rooms to clarify that each surface should have a separate assembly. (April 2016)

IEQc3.2 in LEED 2009 for Retail: Due to Rating System and Reference Guide Correction #100002043, now retail projects can conduct baseline IAQ testing within 14 days following occupancy (instead of previous requirement that it occur before occupancy). (January 2016)

Highlights for O+M

Project Information Forms (O+M)

PIf4 in LEED 2009 (v3): USGBC provided a performance periods table offline calculator as part of the v06 form upgrade to use as an upload to PIf4. (January 2016)

Sustainable Sites (O+M)

SSc4 in LEED 2009 (v3): As part of the v06 form upgrade, USGBC updated the Alternative Transportation Calculator to help document this credit. (January 2016)

Water Efficiency (O+M)

WEp1 and WEc2 in LEED v4 for Existing Buildings: LI ID #10459 allows automated-maintenance urinals that use less than 150 gallons per year to be considered waterless and indicates that you don't include the water volume in the Indoor Water Calculator. Teams must provide manufacturer documentation to provide annual volume of water used. (January 2017)

WEc2 in LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: USGBC updated the Water Use Reduction Additional Guidance document to Version 9 and corrected 7 LEED Interpretations (LI ID #1551, 1576, 10012, 10211, 10212, 10276, and 10284) to utilize new guidance related to applying campus or municipally supplied alternative water sources (like reclaimed treated wastewater and seawater) to credit achievement. (Note: WEp1 must be achieved through project fixture and fitting efficiency measures alone.) However, all v2009 O+M teams should review the Version 9 Guidance document because it now contains help on using the offline Water Use Reduction Calculator that was part of the v06 forms release (see LEED Online update in January 2016 for more information). (October 2016)

WEc3 in LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: LI ID #10440 outlines requirements for using the EPA Water Budget Tool referenced in LEED v4 for each of the three options under this credit. For instance, projects can use the EPA Water Budget tool in place of the theoretical calculations in Option 2 and use the theoretical calculation from Option 2 to establish the baseline in Option 1. For Option 3, the Water Budget Tool can be considered an independent irrigation performance tool. (July 2016)

WEc1 in LEED v4 for Existing Buildings: USGBC issued a revised Outdoor Water Use Reduction Calculator that removes references to “pool, spa, or water feature” throughout the calculator. (April 2016)

WEc2 in LEED v4: Reference Guide Correction ID #100002038 updates Step-by-Step Guidance and Required Documentation for Option 1 - Calculated Water Use. (January 2016)

Energy and Atmosphere (O+M)

EAp2 and EAc1 in LEED 2009 (v3): As part of the v06 forms upgrade, 2009 projects with District Energy Systems can now use the LEED v4 offline calculator to determine the amount of energy used by the project building. (January 2016)

EAp2 and EAc1 in LEED 2009 (v3): Projects not eligible for ENERGY STAR rating (Case 2) have an offline calculator as part of v06 forms upgrade to document credit compliance. (January 2016)

EAc4 in LEED 2009 (v3) and EAc7 in LEED v4: While not allowing credit for deep-water Lake Source Cooling that replaces the refrigeration cycle as on-site renewable energy, LI ID #10429 directs to teams to use ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G to take credit for this efficient strategy under Optimize Energy Performance. (January 2016)

Materials and Resources (O+M)

MRp2, MRc6, and MRc7 in LEED 2009 and MRp1 and MRc4 in LEED v4 for Existing Buildings in LEED v4: LI ID #10442 allows buildings that have earned U.S. Zero Waste Business Certification (USZWBC) to use it to help document these credits; however, the scope of the project (i.e., project boundary) must be the same as the O+M project and corresponding USZWBC credits must be earned. Teams would use the USZWBC scorecard to show compliance and can also earn exemplary performance under Innovation in Operations. (July 2016)

MRc4, MRc7, and MRc9 in LEED v4 for Existing Buildings: USGBC has released a revised Purchasing Calculator with an updated weighted average formula for lamps. (April 2016)

MRc4 in LEED 2009 (v3): LI ID #10428 provides documentation requirements for projects that don’t need to purchase lamps during the performance period. Teams must provide a letter outlining that the purchasing policy is being followed and signed by the responsible party confirming that no new lamps were purchased. (January 2016)

MRc1, MRc2.1, MRc2.2, MRc3, MRc4, and MRc5 in LEED 2009 (v3): USGBC created a Sustainable Purchasing offline calculator to upload to LEED Online as part of the v06 form upgrade. (January 2016)

Indoor Environmental Quality (O+M)

EQc9 in LEED v4: Rating System and Reference Guide Correction ID #100002157 adds an additional notification requirement related to pesticide application in the credit requirements. (April 2017)

EQc7 in LEED v4: Correction ID #100002040 replaced the former EPA Design for the Environment Program’s Standard for Safer Cleaning Products with the new label program EPA Safer Choice in the credit requirements in the Rating System and Reference Guide and Step-by-Step Guidance and Changes from LEED 2009 in the Reference Guide. (January 2016)

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The official source for all LEED Interpretations, Addenda, and LEED updates from USGBC.

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Nadav Malin USGBC LEED Faculty, President BuildingGreen, Inc.
Apr 20 2017
LEEDuser Moderator

more Option 1 certifications for Materials Ingredients

With its April 2017 LEED Addenda USGBC continues to add to the list of certifications and declarations that qualify for Option 1—Material Ingredient Reporting of the Material Ingredients credit. This time they’ve added UL’s Product Lens and Facts certification, which is based on NSF/ANSI 336: Sustainability Assessment for Commercial Furnishings Fabric.

UL’s Product Lens is supported by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), the same firm that established (and still works with) Cradle to Cradle (C2CA protocol developed by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry that establishes guidelines for the manufacture of products in ways that harmonize with natural systems. These guidelines require, for example, that products be recyclable indefinitely, contain no hazardous ingredients, and be manufactured using renewable energy.). It has a lower disclosure bar than C2C, however—it was developed explicitly to meet the LEED credit requirement of 1,000 parts per million. One thing that makes Lens unique in the industry, however, is that it explicitly assesses both hazard AND exposure at every life-cycle stage. Most systems that focus on exposure in addition to hazard do that only for building occupants. BuildingGreen’s assessment of the program here has more useful details. 

Facts is the Association for Contract Textiles certification program based on the NSF/ANSI 336 standard. Several entities, including SCS Global Services, UL, and NSF International offer certification services under the Facts program. Textiles can be certified in Facts at one of four levels (like LEED); any level of certification meets the disclosure requirement of this credit. 

The most recent addenda also clarified the requirements for projects outside the U.S. seeking to use the European Union’s REACH pathway under Option 2—Material Ingredient Optimization. To contribute, products have to have their ingredients inventoried to 100 ppmParts per million. and document that none of those ingredients are on the “Restriction” list nor the “Candidate” list.  

These changes apply to all LEED nonresidential Building Design and Construction and Interior Design and Construction rating systems. They are reflected in the credit language on LEEDuser and listed in USGBC's addenda database

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Michelle Reott LEED AP® BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC, a LEED® Proven Provider™ Apr 20 2017 LEEDuser Expert 13243 Thumbs Up

Thanks Nadav for this detailed information behind Correction ID #100002163 - http://www.usgbc.org/leedaddenda/100002163. The short summaries for April 2017 I provided under Highlights for all Rating Systems for MRc4 for BD+C and MRc5 for ID+C above under the Materials and Resources category provide only a glimpse of the information you described.

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Apr 24 2017
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