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LEED v2008 Homes energy update: Road to ballot

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The results are in and the LEED Homes v2008 energy update has passed ballot. Beginning on Oct. 1, 2014, newly registering projects will be asked to meet the new requirements. The credit library and LEED Online will be updated automatically. Learn more.

Addressing the changes made to energy codes over the last three years in the residential construction market sector, USGBC has planned an update to the 2008 version of LEED for Homes (open for registration until June 2015). The proposed change affects EA credit 1: Optimize Energy Performance in two ways:

  • It changes the minimum threshold so that projects using LEED for Homes v2008 will need to earn a minimum of 13 points in the Energy and Atmosphere (EA) section for climate zones (CZ) 1-5, or 9.5 points for CZ 6-8.
  • By requiring projects to earn more points in EA, projects will need to achieve a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 70 or lower, or earn the equivalent number of points in the prescriptive path.

Because this change is substantive, it must go through the balloting process to make sure it’s adopted in a manner that ensures openness, transparency and consensus. This is the same process that was used for LEED v4.

Where are we in the process for the update to LEED for Homes (2008)?

Two public comment periods were held in 2013 and the feedback to both was resoundingly positive. After going through a final review by the LEED Steering Committee (LSC) - a diverse group of volunteers and USGBC staff who manage and guide the evolution of LEED – it's been determined that no additional changes are needed to the credit language. In their evaluation, LSC looked at all comments submitted by the public, the responses to those comments and the credit language.

What’s next?

With no additional edits needed we're ready for the next step, voting. The ballot for the update to LEED for Homes 2008 will open February 3, 2014. If you registered to vote, stay tuned for more information. You'll be contacted via email soon with more information.

Planning ahead: This change will go into effect for newly registering projects two months after a passing ballot vote. 

Learn more about the update process in the Foundations of LEED.

California projects

While the change to the EA point floor doesn’t impact projects in California, projects in that state have a different update going into effect on the same date.

Homes and Midrise projects in California permitted under T-24 2013 must exceed that version of the energy code by at least 10% (rather than 15% above T-24 2008). The number of LEED points earned for improvement beyond T-24 has been modified as well. This will impact projects that register after October 1, 2014.

You can find out more details on how points will be awarded in these two interpretations (4670858 for Homes, 4670859 for Midrise).

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    Asa Foss made 5 contributions in the last 6 months

Asa Foss

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