Acs Smart Buildings

A Quick Overview of LEED v4

 In Green Building, LEED, Smart Building

In a little under 20 years, LEED revolutionized green building and has become the international standard for design, construction, and operation of the most efficient structures. Now, there is LEED v4 which was created to be more tailored to certain aspects of projects, for example, a community of apartments would be treated differently than an old office retrofit.

Benefits of LEED v4

(taken from USBG)

  • Flexibility with strategies to fit the unique aspects of all projects
  • Performance based approach to design, operations, and maintenance that calls for measurable results at every stage of a project’s life
  • Smart grid thinking to the forefront that rewards projects for participating in demand response programs
  • A more comprehensive approach to water efficiency by evaluating total building water use
  • Expanded focus on materials — in addition to considering usage of materials in buildings, LEED v4 integrates a comprehensive approach to evaluate the impact of materials on human health and the environment
  • Streamlined documentation and even greater alignment between rating systems for a better customer experience

New Impact Categories

Here is a brief overlook a couple of the HVAC services that can benefit from the new LEED v4 program.


Focus on reducing energy demand through the guidance of energy usage and efficiency. Then, rewarding renewables and offering new solutions for achieving these goals.

Within the Energy and Atmosphere (EA) section:

  • 20 percent of points allocated to energy efficiency, LEED has increased emphasis on energy and associated impacts.
  • Emphasis on enhanced building commissioning for greater energy and operational performance.
  • Benefits of smart-grid thinking, optional rewards projects for participating in demand-response programs.


Every system in a building is affected by water and in the U.S., buildings account for 13.6 percent of potable water use.

Within the Water Efficiency (WE) section: in the newest version of LEED addresses water holistically, taking into account indoor use, outdoor use, specialized

  • Addresses water holistically, taking into account indoor, outdoor, specialized uses, and metering.
  • It measures all sources of water related to a building, including cooling towers, appliances, etc.
  • Encourage projects to reuse reclaimed wastewater, graywater, condensate, process water, and rainwater, for irrigation, toilet flushing and more.

If you are interested in learning more about LEED or LEED v4, call (913) 248-8828 or contact ACS for a free consultation today.

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