LEED v4.1

LEED v4.1

The next step for LEED is LEED v4.1

LEED is the world’s rating system for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. For the last 18 years, the various versions of LEED have pushed the global green building market forward progressively, with more than 93,000 registered and certified projects and a total of 19.3 billion square feet of space used worldwide.

In a world that is constantly evolving, one of the hallmarks of LEED is “continuous improvement.” With each new version, LEED raises the bar to increase the impact on our built environment. USGBC has also been working to ensure that LEED not only meets different markets where they are, but also that the rating system accelerates the speed with which the market moves.

After the widespread success of LEED 2009, we wanted to raise the bar on the market. As green builders, it’s not just our job to be efficient with our construction and design, but to give the environment more than we receive. Today, LEED v4 is the most rigorous green building rating system in the world. From improving energy performance to emphasizing human health and integrative building design, LEED is encouraging project teams to operate beyond the status quo.

Enter LEED v4.1: LEED v4.1 is not a full version change, but rather an incremental update to the LEED rating systems. LEED v4.1 will be our most inclusive and transparent platform to date. That’s because our most important requirement for adoption will come from our most valuable resource of all—you!

LEED v4.1 is bigger, stronger, bolder:

  • Bigger: LEED v4.1 is for all – it is more inclusive and allows projects to earn LEED points through building performance monitoring via the Arc platform.
  • Stronger: LEED v4.1 continues to drive performance. In fact, performance outcomes are fully integrated into LEED v4.1 so that you can measure performance on an ongoing basis.
  • Bolder: Lessons learned from those in the market using LEED v4 and over the last twenty years have led us to take a deeper look at existing buildings, residential projects and cities to develop unique solutions that address unique markets.

LEED v4.1 will deliver:

  • New methodologies for measuring building performance by working with and supporting projects to track energy, water, waste, transportation and indoor environmental quality
  • A simple, data-driven path to LEED certification for existing buildings, making it accessible to more projects than any other version of the rating system
  • Updated referenced standards and performance requirements to ensure that LEED remains the global leader in green building

LEED Recertification

Recertification is an important action that is now available to all occupied and in-use projects that have previously achieved certification under LEED – including BD+C and ID+C, regardless of their initial rating system or version.

This new guidance presents a simple and data-driven pathway, reassuring projects that they are meeting ever-changing goals and staying on the cutting edge.

Step 1: review the Recertification Guide, which details the requirements and process.
Step 2: contact us to activate your project’s recertification.

Once you’ve successfully competed recertification, your project will earn LEED for Operations and Maintenance (LEED O+M) certification under the newest available version of the rating system. Currently that is LEED v4.1.

LEED v4.1 O+M beta

As a first step in launching LEED v4.1, we’ve released a beta version of the LEED rating system for Existing Buildings.

USGBC is committed to the success of every LEED project and especially those in the beta. Projects will receive support from our Technical Core Team. Immediately after registration, teams will be contacted to ensure they have everything needed for success, including tools and resources. Teams will have access to support every step of the way in their beta experience.

To participate in the LEED v4.1 O+M beta:

  1. Register your project in LEED Online.
  2. This process is collaborative, and we want to hear from you. Let us know what you think.

Join the beta



Learn the basics of LEED v4.1 and what to expect in the individual credit category videos below, or take the Introduction to LEED v4.1 for Existing Buildings course on Education @USGBC to receive CE credit.

Be part of LEED v4.1’s development

As a new feature of LEED development, USGBC is opening a call for ideas for the LEED rating systems. The call for proposals is currently open. Learn about the LEED development process.

Proposal requirements:

  • Proposals shall be expressed in terms of actual edits to the existing LEED language using tools provided by USGBC. Multiple proposals for change from the same person/organization for each LEED credit are permitted.
  • Proposals for change must be specific.
  • The rationale and technical justification for each proposal for change must be provided and must be technical in nature.

Submit your proposal

What’s planned for LEED v4.1

LEED v4.1 is a critical step forward in delivering green buildings for all.

Rating system updates

LEED Operations + Maintenance

  • The rating system is simplified – the scorecard and requirements are streamlined and new methodologies for tracking and rating performance are integrated directly into the rating system, providing a clear framework for achieving LEED certification, not just for entire buildings, but for spaces within buildings as well.
  • A stronger environmental performance leads to economic prosperity, better of quality of life, and improved human health and wellbeing for all. LEED v4.1 O+M will support this goal by tracking performance in energy, water, waste, transportation, indoor air quality, toxin free environment and occupant satisfaction.
  • With LEED v4.1 O+M, an initial certification will be awarded to projects based on the implementation of sustainable operational strategies and performance score achievement in LEED Online for the areas below:
    • Transportation: Administer at least one survey
    • Energy: Provide 12 consecutive months of total energy use
    • Water: Provide 12 consecutive months of total potable water use
    • Waste: Provide weight of waste generated and diverted over a 12-month period
    • Indoor Air Quality: Conduct at least one Indoor Air Quality evaluation for total volatile organic compounds and interior carbon dioxide (CO2) level
    • Occupant Survey: Administer at least one occupant survey.
  • The resulting points for performance will translate into a LEED certification level. The initial certification will be valid for one year. To keep the certification active, or to pursue higher levels of certification, projects should continue to report data against areas described above.

Next we’ll move on to the rest of the LEED v4 rating systems: design and construction, interiors, residential, neighborhoods and communities and cities. Requirements will be simplified for credits such as Low-Emitting Materials, Indoor Air Quality Assessment and Rainwater and Heat Island Reduction. Credits that have been successfully implemented through the Pilot Credit Library will be considered for integration into LEED.

We will be updating performance thresholds to ensure LEED keeps pushing the market to connect buildings with their impact, with a particular focus on ways to measure the carbon footprint of a structure. In addition, the rating systems will be updated adequately to address the market needs of residential sectors, neighborhoods, communities, and cities.