While much of the focus of LEED v4 has been on the materials, the energy credits also experienced significant changes. One major new requirement is that the commissioning design review is a part of the fundamental commissioning prerequisite. This means that all LEED projects must engage a commissioning agent during the design phase. The minimum energy performance prerequisite also requires analysis to be done during the design phase, and the referenced energy standard has been updated to ASHRAE 90.1-2010. ASHRAE 90.1-2010 includes many new mandatory requirements, that all projects must comply with, such as controlled receptacles and daylighting controls. Luckily, most projects in California are likely to meet those mandatory requirements, as well as the commissioning design review, simply by complying with Title 24.
For LEED Commercial Interiors projects, the way energy efficiency points are awarded has been changed as well. In LEED v3, a project could earn all the points by prescriptively complying separately with the HVAC, lighting, and process load credits. In version 4, that option is still available, but a project cannot earn all the points available. In order to maximize energy efficiency points, a project will need to run a tenant level energy model using ASHRAE 90.1-2010.
Measurement and verification has also undergone a radical transformation. Projects will no longer be required to create and implement an M&V plan. In order to achieve the new Advanced Energy Metering Credit, projects will only have to install submeters on significant end uses. Additionally, a new prerequisite has been created which requires all projects to have building level energy meters. For most projects this won’t be a concern, but some campus projects will need to submeter out each building.
LEED v4 recognizes the variety of different services a high-quality commissioning agent can provide. Unlike LEED v3, where Enhanced Commissioning was all or nothing, LEED v4 has a few different Enhanced Commissioning options to choose from. Projects can choose to have their commissioning agent perform Enhanced Commissioning with or without Monitoring Based Commissioning. Additionally, projects using the building design and construction rating system can choose to pursue Envelope Commissioning as well.