Use v4 credits on your v2009 project | U.S. Green Building Council
Please upgrade your browser. This site requires a newer version to work correctly. Read more
Published on
Written by
Posted in LEED
Published on
Written by
Posted in LEED

Excited to start using LEED v4, but not sure you’re ready to make the switch on your existing projects? Now you can substitute some of your v2009 credits for v4 credits. Here’s how:

Note: Additional credit substitutions were published in November 2015. Check out this article for more info

  1. Check out the list of approved credit substitutions below and select the credit(s) you’d like to substitute.
  2. Go to www.usgbc.org/sampleforms and download the v4 form for the appropriate credit.
  3. Complete the v4 sample form as you would any other credit documentation
  4. In the v2009 form, under additional details, check “alternative compliance path” box at the bottom, list the substitution you are making and upload the completed sample form in lieu of your v2009 documentation.
  5. Your submittal will be reviewed based on the LEED v4 credit requirements (credit requirements can be found in the credit library).

Approved v2009 to v4 credit substitutions:

BD+C Projects:

LEED 2009 credit, may be substituted with...   LEED v4 credit
Credit Name Credit Category Points   Credit Name Credit Category Points
Construction activity pollution prevention Sustainable sites Prerequisite   Construction activity pollution prevention Sustainable sites Prerequisite
Development density and community connectivity Sustainable sites 5   Surrounding density and diverse uses* Location & transportation 5
Alternative transportation - bicycle storage and... Sustainable sites 1   Bicycle facilities Location & transportation 1
Site development - maximize open space Sustainable sites 1   Open space Sustainable sites 1
Light pollution reduction Sustainable sites 1   Light pollution reduction Sustainable sites 1
Fundamental commissioning of building energy... Energy & atmosphere Prerequisite   Fundamental commissioning and verification Energy & atmosphere Prerequisite
Fundamental refrigerant management Energy & atmosphere Prerequisite   Fundamental refrigerant management Energy & atmosphere Prerequisite
Green power Energy & atmosphere 2   Green power and carbon offsets Energy & atmosphere 2
Storage and collection of recyclables Material & resources Prerequisite   Storage and collection of recyclables Material & resources Prerequisite
Construction waste management Material & resources 2   Construction and demolition waste management planning (prerequisite) and Construction and demolition waste management (credit) Material & resources 2
Minimum indoor air quality performance Indoor environmental quality Prerequisite   Minimum indoor air quality performance Indoor environmental quality Prerequisite
Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) control Indoor environmental quality Prerequisite   Environmental tobacco smoke control Indoor environmental quality Prerequisite
Low-emitting materials – Adhesives and Sealants and Low-emitting materials – Paints and coatings and Low-emitting materials – Flooring and Low-emitting materials – Composite wood Indoor environmental quality 4   Option 2 of Low-emitting materials** Indoor environmental quality 3
Construction IAQ management plan - during... Indoor environmental quality 1   Construction indoor air quality management plan Indoor environmental quality 1
Daylight and views - views Indoor environmental quality 1   Quality views Indoor environmental quality 1
Innovation in design Innovation 5   Innovation Innovation 5
LEED Accredited Professional Innovation 1   LEED Accredited Professional Innovation 1

* Project teams must earn the highest threshold on both of the LEED v4 credit options to earn the LEED v2009 points (5 points under v2009 Development density and community connectivity)

** Project teams must substitute all four credits in Low-emitting materials in LEED v2009. Points are awarded as follows: 1 point in LEED v4 earns 2 points in LEED v2009; 2 points in LEED v4 earn 3 points in LEED v2009; 3 points in LEED v4 earn 4 points in LEED v2009.

O+M Projects:

LEED 2009 credit, may be substituted with...   LEED v4 credit
Credit Name Credit Category Points   Credit Name Credit Category Points
Alternative commuting transportation Sustainable sites Not Required, 15   Alternative transportation Location & transportation Not Required, 15
Heat island effect - nonroof Sustainable sites Not Required, 1   Heat island reduction (for SSc7.1 & 7.2) Sustainable sites Not Required, 2
Heat island effect - roof Sustainable sites Not Required, 1  
Minimum indoor plumbing fixture and fitting... Water efficiency Required   Indoor water use reduction Water efficiency Required
Water performance measurement Water efficiency Not Required, 2   Water metering Water efficiency Not Required, 2
Additional indoor plumbing fixture and fitting... Water efficiency Not Required, 5   Indoor water use reduction Water efficiency Not Required, 5
Energy efficiency best management practices -... Energy & atmosphere Required   Energy efficiency best management practices Energy & atmosphere Required
Minimum energy efficiency performance Energy & atmosphere Required   Minimum energy performance Energy & atmosphere Required
Fundamental refrigerant management Energy & atmosphere Required   Fundamental refrigerant management Energy & atmosphere Required
Existing building commissioning - investigation... Energy & atmosphere Not Required, 2   Existing building commissioning—analysis Energy & atmosphere Not Required, 2
Existing building commissioning - implementation Energy & atmosphere Not Required, 2   Existing building commissioning—implementation Energy & atmosphere Not Required, 2
Performance measurement - system-level metering Energy & atmosphere Not Required, 2   Advanced energy metering Energy & atmosphere Not Required, 2
Enhanced refrigerant management Energy & atmosphere Not Required, 1   Enhanced refrigerant management Energy & atmosphere Not Required, 1
Sustainable purchasing - ongoing consumables Material & resources Not Required, 1   Purchasing - ongoing Material & resources Not Required, 1
Sustainable purchasing - reduced mercury in lamps Material & resources Not Required, 1   Purchasing - lamps Material & resources Not Required, 1
Minimum indoor air quality performance Indoor environmental quality Required   Minimum indoor air quality performance Indoor environmental quality Required
Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) control Indoor environmental quality Required   Environmental Tobacco Smoke Control Indoor environmental quality Required
Green cleaning policy Indoor environmental quality Required   Green cleaning policy Indoor environmental quality Required
Occupant comfort - occupant survey Indoor environmental quality Not Required, 1   Occupant comfort survey Indoor environmental quality Not Required, 1
Occupant comfort - thermal comfort monitoring Indoor environmental quality Not Required, 1   Thermal comfort Indoor environmental quality Not Required, 1
Green cleaning - custodial effectiveness... Indoor environmental quality Not Required, 1   Green cleaning - custodial effectiveness... Indoor environmental quality Not Required, 1
Green cleaning - purchase of sustainable cleaning... Indoor environmental quality Not Required, 1   Green cleaning - products and materials Indoor environmental quality Not Required, 1
Green cleaning - sustainable cleaning equipment Indoor environmental quality Not Required, 1   Green cleaning - equipment Indoor environmental quality Not Required, 1
LEED Accredited Professional Innovation Not Required, 1   LEED Accredited Professional Innovation Not Required, 1

ID+C Projects:

LEED 2009 credit, may be substituted with...   LEED v4 credit
Credit Name Credit Category Points   Credit Name Credit Category Points
Alternative transportation - parking availability Sustainable sites 2   Reduced parking footprint Location & transportation 2
Enhanced commissioning Energy & atmosphere 5   Enhanced commissioning Energy & atmosphere 5
Fundamental commissioning of building energy... Energy & atmosphere Prerequisite   Fundamental commissioning and verification Energy & atmosphere Prerequisite
Fundamental refrigerant management Energy & atmosphere Prerequisite   Fundamental refrigerant management Energy & atmosphere Prerequisite
Tenant space - long-term commitment Material & resources 1   Long-term commitment Material & resources 1
Construction waste management Material & resources 2   Construction and demolition waste management Material & resources 2
Storage and collection of recyclables Material & resources Prerequisite   Storage and collection of recyclables Material & resources Prerequisite
Construction IAQ management plan - during... Indoor environmental quality 1   Indoor air quality assessment (for EQc3.1 & 3.2) Indoor environmental quality 2
Construction IAQ management plan - before... Indoor environmental quality 1  
Controllability of systems - thermal comfort Indoor environmental quality 1   Thermal comfort Indoor environmental quality 1
Daylight and views - views Indoor environmental quality 1   Quality views Indoor environmental quality 1
Minimum indoor air quality performance Indoor environmental quality Prerequisite   Minimum indoor air quality performance Indoor environmental quality Prerequisite
Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) control Indoor environmental quality Prerequisite   Environmental tobacco smoke control Indoor environmental quality Prerequisite
Low-emitting materials – Adhesives and Sealants and Low-emitting materials – Paints and coatings and Low-emitting materials – Flooring and Low-emitting materials – Composite wood and Low-Emitting Materials—Systems Furniture and Seating Indoor environmental quality 5   Option 2 of Low-emitting materials** Indoor environmental quality 3
Innovation in design Innovation 5   Innovation Innovation 5
LEED Accredited Professional Innovation 1   LEED Accredited Professional Innovation 1

* Project teams must earn the highest threshold on both of the LEED v4 credit options to earn the LEED v2009 points (5 points under LEED v2009 Development density and community connectivity)

** Project teams must substitute all five credits in Low-emitting materials in LEED v2009. Points are awarded as follows: 1 point in LEED v4 earns 3 points in LEED v2009; 2 points in LEED v4 earn 4 points in LEED v2009; 4 points in LEED v4 earn 5 points in LEED v2009.

USGBC Articles can be accessed in the USGBC app for iOS or Android on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
iOS App on App StoreAndroid app on Google Play

Total 33 commentsLeave a comment

Partner, ArchEcology, LLC
I don't see the WEcr1 irrigation reduction credit on the substitution list. Is there a reason why this credit wouldn't be eligible?
Any potential substitutions not listed in this article would need to be proposed through a project CIR and reviewed. WEc1 isn't necessary unavailable for substitution however the LEED team felt that it wasn't a credit which could be allowed to be substituted for all projects. In general the CIR will be evaluated on whether the v2009 and v4 credits have similar intents and requirements when applied to your specific project.
Clark Nexsen Architecture & Engineering
If I substitute V4 SS8 credit for V3 where do the interior lighting requirements go? The have been moved to EAP Minimum Energy Performance in V4.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi, Susan. Project teams utilizing this ACP for v4 Light Pollution in lieu of v3/2009 SSc8 do not need to include the interior lighting in the credit.
Managing Director, G
Is it possible to substitute the SSc2 v2009 credit with the v4 Surrounding Density and Diverse Uses Credit - given that the project is on a greenfield site? Argument: The v4 credit does not require 'Previously Developed' Site as a condition to earn all available points for a Core & Shell Project.
LEED Fellow, Green Building Specialist, USGBC Customer Service
Hi Raymond, it is possible to substitute and achieve LEED BD+C: CS v4 Surrounding density and diverse uses (http://www.usgbc.org/node/2600442?return=/credits/core-and-shell/v4) for a greenfield site, demonstrating that Option 2 requirements are met.
LEED consultant, Revitaliza Consultores
Hi! it is not listed on the approved v2009 to v4 credit substitutions, but is it possible to substitute the complete Regional Priority v2009 category for the Regional Priority v4 category? Thanks! Miriam
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi, Miriam. No, v2009 projects are only eligible for the pre-approved set of v2009 Regional Priority Credits as listed in the Regional Priority Directory here: http://www.usgbc.org/rpc. Please also check out the following article regarding Regional Priorities for projects outside the U.S.: http://www.usgbc.org/articles/leed-goes-local-through-recognizing-region....
Hi all, I'm very much interested with the concept of 'Green Building' & new to work with the concept of 'Green Building'; I want to work as a 'Green Building Engineer' professional & flourish my career. Which guidelines I can follow to enrich my knowledge about 'Green Building'? Can you help me with some documents (pdf,docs, presentation) ? Thanks & regards, Asif Hossain
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Assif Thank you for your interest in LEED v4. These two free courses on Education@USGBC may provide you with the next steps to enriching your understanding of LEED and provide the information you are looking for. The courses also have pdf resources. http://www.usgbc.org/education/sessions/introduction-leed-v4/key-concept... http://www.usgbc.org/education/sessions/introduction-leed-v4/performance
Thank You Very much.
Lionakis
I understand that this list is for directly substituting V4 credits for V3/2009 credits. But is it acceptable to use a Version 4 credit as an innovation point for a V3/2009 project, similar to using an EBOM credit for a BD+C project? Apologies in advance if this was addressed somewhere else and I missed it.
Technical Director, LEED, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Samantha - the best places to look for acceptable v4 credits to use as innovation points on v2009 projects are the pilot credit library and the innovation catalog. These are credits that have been evaluated for v2009 projects and have been approved as acceptable innovation strategies. Many of the pilot credits are v4 credits which are available for use by v2009 projects via the pilot credit pathway. We're always adding new credits to these libraries so check back soon.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Samantha, it is acceptable to attempt a v4 credit as an ID credit in a v3 project provided that the subject of that credit is not already covered in the rating system you are using.
Project Manager at Technical Unit, Corporaci_n de la Construccion y Desarr
We are guiding a Data Center Project during the Certification pursue process and eventhough it is registered under LEED v2009 we would like to perform EA p2 and EA c1 following the requirements and restrictions of LEED v4 (BD+C Data Centers). In the list above it does not appear that you can pursue these prerequisite and credit through v4 but in this new version, the energy model for this specific type of buillding seems much more close to the reality of a project of these characteristics. Should we submit a CIR?. Thanks so much!!!
Technical Director, LEED, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Maria - v2009 data centers projects may use the LEED v4 data centers energy calculator for their exceptional calculation, but still use the v2009 points table to determine points earned. Hope that helps.
Project Manager at Technical Unit, Corporaci_n de la Construccion y Desarr
Batya!!! Thanks so much for your help.
Batya, Very useful information. Currently I am working for getting a certification for an existing non-certified building. I have specific queries for the Air Filtration (booth outside air as well as re-circulating air) requirements for leed certification. Please guide me if MERV-8 (2" thk), followed by MERV-13 (pocket type, 21" deep) is sufficient, or the first stage of filtration should be MERV-13 (2" thk.) Regards, Mehul Modi
Vice President Sustainability, Strategic Operations Manager, Healthy Buildings International, Inc.
If I wanted to pursue the Green Cleaning: Products and Materials v4 credit under LEED EB:O&M for a v09 project, do I have to pursue the related Green Cleaning credits under v4 as well or can I just pursue that one credit under v4? Also, can I simply borrow the expanded compliance standards (i.e. EPA Design for the Environment) or must I pursue the v4 credit? Thank you!
Environmental Engineer, Independent
Hello. Even when you have time to register a project under the v2009?
Sustainable Building Systems Designer, Manasc Isaac Architects Ltd.
Thanks, Batya, very useful. Does the program for using v4 credits on v2009 projects apply to Canada, as well? I don't see any mention of it at CaGBC.
Manager, LEED Program, Canada Green Building Council
Hi Robert, Our CaGBC Technical Advisory Groups (TAG) have been focused on researching Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs) for the Canadian marketplace to utilize version 4. As you may know, these are expected to be announced at our Building Lasting Change conference June 2-4, 2014 in Toronto (see our website for further details: http://www.cagbc.org/LEEDv4). The ACPs are the priority to ensure a smooth transition for the Canadian marketplace. When our TAGs have completed that work we will investigate providing a similar adoption table as the USGBC has provided and as we provided with the release of LEED Canada BD&C v2009 (for adoption in LEED Canada NC v1.0 projects). In the meantime, applicants are welcome to ask individual CIRs to use LEED version 4 pathways on version 2009 projects, or even earlier version 1.0 projects. You are welcome to contact our customer service at info@cagbc.org if you have further questions.
Chief Operations Officer (COO) & Chief Consultant, Woonerf Inc.
Hi, Our project is pursing cetification under LEED-CS c2009. The project type is warehouse. Regarding SSc2, warehouse specific compliance path is provided in BD+C new construction v4 requiremet, but not in BD+C core & shell v4. Our project would like to use BD+C new construction compliance path for warehouse instead of BD+C core & shell compliance path. Is it acceptable?
Technical Director, LEED, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Noriko - since this substitution isn't on the approved list, I'd recommend submitting a project CIR so that GBCI can evaluate whether the substitution would be acceptable.
Green Building & Environmental Consultant, Deerns
Dear Batya, I am currently working on European based LEED 2009 (V3) registered projects. Apparently LEED V4 credits IEQ c4.1 - c4.4 now accept local VOC content regulations as alternative proof, such as European Decopaint regulation. Is it possible for you to updated the approved v2009 to v4 credit substitutions list to include these credits IEQ c4.1 - c4.4 ? If this is not possible do I need to as USGCB a project CIR to get these substitutions approved? Thank-you,
Technical Director, LEED, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Ian - any potential substitutions not listed in this article would need to be proposed through a project CIR, as you mentioned. After 6 months we will evaluate the additional credit substitutions that have been granted and add to this list as appropriate. In general these proposals will be evaluated on whether the v2009 and v4 credits have similar intents and requirements and on matching points between the two versions, as mismatched points will result in an inaccurate point total.
Director Operations, TRANSWESTERN
Hi Batya, is this applicable to projects submitted within our LEED Volume program? (assuming the $500 individual credit review fee would apply since the v4 approach was not prototyped) Thank you.
Technical Director, LEED, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi David - in general yes, volume projects may use the same credit substitutions as other projects. For the exact details, I'd recommend working with your USGBC volume staff member.
Senior Environmental Designer, Atelier Ten USA LLC
Thanks Batya, this is very helpful. If a 2009 NC project wanted to pursue one of the v4 MR Building Product Disclosure & Optimization credits (MRc2, c3, c4), is the only current option to register for one of the similar Pilot Credits? (52, 53, 76, 77, 80) Thank you.
Technical Director, LEED, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Craig - at the moment, registering for the MR Pilot Credits or registering a project in LEED v4 are the options, since the MR section has such significant changes, but stay tuned for other options later in the year, this is being discussed right now.
Senior Environmental Designer, Atelier Ten USA LLC
Thanks Batya, we'll stay tuned.
Principal, PSL Integrated Solutions LLC
What about LEED for Homes or Mid-rise?
Technical Director, LEED, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Polly - we're putting a set of Homes/Midrise substitutions through committee review right now. Once they are reviewed and approved, we'll update this article.

Leave a comment Don't have an account? Create one

You must be signed in to leave a comment.