10438 | U.S. Green Building Council
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Created on April 5, 2016

LEED Interpretation

ID# 10438

Rating System

LEED BD+C: Homes

Rating System Version

v4 - LEED v4


Will USGBC allow projects located in mild climates that do not install heating and cooling systems to use the prescriptive path in EA?


LEED for Homes projects in mild climates that do not install mechanical heating and cooling may use the prescriptive Energy & Atmosphere (EA) pathway for scoring, as well as automatically earn heating and cooling related credits. In addition, they do not need to contract with an energy rater.

In order to use this approach, projects must:

1) Be located in a mild climate, defined as those where each mean monthly temperatures falls within 21 degree C and 27 degree C, and

2) Not install a heating or cooling system, and

3) Use LEED for Homes and Multifamily Lowrise. This approach is not valid for LEED Midrise, and

4) Receive explicit approval from USGBC/GBCI after a formal request is submitted and reviewed. Formal requests must be submitted to homestechnical@gbci.org and must include information on the mean monthly temperatures and relative humidity of the project’s location, as well as details on the project, such as size, envelope features, and ventilation strategy.

If a project is approved, the Energy & Atmosphere prescriptive pathway may be used, and EA prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance is automatically met.

Points within EA HVAC Start-Up Credentialing, EA Building Orientation for Passive Solar, EA Air Infiltration, EA Envelope Insulation, EA Windows, EA Space Heating & Cooling Equipment, and EA Heating & Cooling Distribution Systems may be awarded automatically, with the following limitation:

The number of points awarded in the above credits cannot exceed the number of points earned and awarded in EA Efficient Hot Water Distribution System, EA Advanced Utility Tracking, EA Efficient Domestic Hot Water Equipment, EA Lighting, EA High-Efficiency Appliances, and EA Renewable Energy. For example, if a project earns 7 points in the non-space conditioning related EA credits (such as Efficient Hot Water Distribution System, Lighting, and High-Efficiency Appliances), they are awarded 7 additional points total in the space conditioning credits – for a total of 14 points in the EA category.

In Indoor Environmental Quality, projects may automatically earn 3 points in EQ Balancing of Heating & Cooling Distribution Systems.

Applicable Credits

Name : Minimum energy performance
Rating system : Homes,
Rating system version : v4

Name : Balancing of heating and cooling distribution systems
Rating system : Homes,Mid-rise,
Rating system version : v4

Credit Name Minimum energy performance
Credit Category Energy & atmosphere
International Applicable Internationally applicable
Campus Applicable Not campus applicable
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