USGBC made a big announcement recently—we now have access to our first LEED v4.1 beta! There have been rumors since late last year, but not only do we now have access to details, projects can start using the new rating system right away. LEED v4.1 O+M Beta rating system and supporting materials have been released. This isn’t a full version change, but an update to the existing LEED v4 rating systems we’re familiar with. For almost two decades now, LEED has continued to evolve and raise the bar for projects around the world. There are nearly 100,000 registered and certified projects worldwide—the impact LEED has on green building can’t be ignored. We’ve done the research for you and included the 5 things professionals need to know now about LEED v4.1 O+M Beta rating system.
- LEED O+M: Interiors is on the scene. Existing interior spaces that are contained within a portion of an existing building are able to earn LEED v4.1 O+M Interiors certification. The projects interior spaces may serve commercial, retail, or hospitality purposes.
- “Initial certifications” are now available. Projects can earn their initial certification based on the implementation of sustainable operational strategies and performance score achievements. Specifically projects will need to take actions like administer a transportation and occupant survey, provide 12 consecutive months of total energy use and potable water use and provide data on waste generation of a 12 month period. They haven’t forgotten air quality with the initial certification requirements either. Projects will need to conduct at least one IAQ evaluation for total VOCs and interior CO2 levels. The points earned for performance will translate into an initial LEED certification level that’s valid for a full year-or longer if a project continues to provide their data per the certification requirements.
- The ARC Platform is here to stay. Projects pursuing certification under LEED v4.1 can earn LEED points through building performance monitoring via the Arc platform. We continue to see the Arc platform woven further into the GBCI suite of rating systems, and professionals should take note to avoid getting left behind. LINK TO ARC ARTICLE
- There are some new terms you need to be privy to as we continue to watch the rollout of LEED v4.1. For instance, “grid harmonization” is the new Demand Response. This total term change was made in efforts to “better reflect options available for teams and credit intent to make energy generation and distribution systems more efficient, increase grid reliability, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
- Both beta rating systems feature very streamlined scorecards; each credit category has had one or often times several credits eliminated completely. You should also know, more changes are coming. Specifically, the Low-Emitting Materials, Indoor Air Quality Assessment and Rainwater and Heat Island Reduction credits will be simplified as the other v4.1 rating systems are released.
So what if you’re currently preparing for your LEED credential exam? Don’t worry! USGBC has shared there is no pending v4.1 update to the credential exams at this time. If you’re using GBRI’s LEED AP O+M Exam Prep right now, continue on–you’re studying what you need to pass the current exam on your first try. With that being said, we all know the updates are coming eventually, so if you haven’t started preparing yet, we recommend you take advantage of this time and earn your LEED Green Associate, LEED AP O+M or LEED AP BD+C credential while they’re extremely marketable and easier to obtain. One purchase is all that’s standing in your way—our All-Inclusive packages are EVERYTHING you need to pass on the first try, with a money back guarantee.
Want to be a part of the LEED v4.1 development? USGBC is now taking proposal ideas for changes, and projects can take part in this beta phase right away.