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Updates to LEED for Homes

Published on Written by Posted in LEED
Project: Pearl Place Photo: Courtesy of Avesta Housing
Project: Pearl Place Photo: Courtesy of Avesta Housing

Continuous improvement ensures that the LEED rating systems stay relevant in a time when policies, technologies and the needs of the industry are constantly changing. In the last three years, residential construction energy codes rapidly have become more stringent, a trend we anticipate will continue. The updates in LEED v4 (the newest version of LEED for Homes) respond to these changes, and now USGBC aims to update the 2008 version of LEED for Homes by beginning an official update process. 

This update to LEED for Homes v2008 will increase the stringency of the energy prerequisite by roughly 15%, approximately equivalent to the energy performance of ENERGY STAR v3, 15% above International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2009 and equivalent to IECC 2012. Projects using LEED for Homes v2008 would need to earn a minimum of 13 points in the Energy & Atmosphere (EA) section for climate zones (CZ) 1-5, or 9.5 points for CZ 6-8. The threshold change would require projects to achieve a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 70 or lower, or earn the equivalent number of points in the prescriptive path. Currently, over 90% of all certified projects are scoring lower than a HERS 70.

Important dates:

Aug 1, 2013 - Sept 16, 2013: First public comment period

Sept 1, 2013: Membership deadline - to vote, you must be an employee of a USGBC national member company, membership in good standing, from Sept 1, 2013 through the end of the ballot period scheduled for this winter

Winter 2013: Ballot

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.

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    Corey Enck made 4 contributions in the last 6 months

Corey Enck

U.S. Green Building Council

5 commentsLeave a comment

Sustainability Coordinator, AMLI Residential

Thanks for the update. Where on the USGBC website is the draft published for public review and comment? I see that today is the first day of the public comment period.

Manager, LEED Marketing and Communications , U.S. Green Building Council

Hi Erin - this article has links to all of the drafts as well as the credit library. http://www.usgbc.org/articles/homes-2008-update-public-comment-open-now.

Sustainability Coordinator, AMLI Residential

Thanks Selina!

EcoLogical Energy Systems

So, I'm a candidate for the LEED AP Homes exam and recently purchased the study materials. Will the v4 changes make the study materials and exam different from what I've been studying?

Technical Director, LEED, U.S. Green Building Council

Hi John - If you're taking the exam by the first quarter of 2014, your exam materials are the correct ones.

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