Stuart Kaplow and the Green Building Law Update make the claim that the "Energy Jump-start" alternative compliance method in LEEDv4 O+M is the single biggest change to LEEDv4.
In summary, the Minimum Energy Performance prerequisite in LEEDv4 requires a minimum EnergyStar score, or equivalent, of 75. The alternative "Energy Jump-start" compliance method states that if you cannot meet this, a documented 20% reduction in energy consumption can qualify for the prerequisite:
The change is buried deep within the LEED Operations and Maintenance Existing Buildings program and is not even in the printed reference guide.
The quick explanation is the change is an alternative method of satisfying the prerequisite that an existing building achieve an Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool energy performance rating of at least 75. Prior to the availability of this alternative compliance path, an existing building that could not achieve an Energy Star rating of 75 was excluded from participating in LEED.
There are nearly 4.9 million existing non-residential buildings in the U.S. If green building is going to save the planet, the huge impact that existing buildings have on the natural environment must be addressed.
Source: Green Building Law Update
About the Author
Ravi Bajaj is the Education Manager for the San Diego Green Building Council and has professional experience as a green building consultant with an emphasis on education and training. He holds a degree in Earth Science from UC San Diego and is a LEED Accredited Professional with dual specialty in Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance and Building Design and Construction (LEED AP EB: O+M and BD+C). He coordinates the Green Associate and LEED AP Building Design and Construction and Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance study groups for the San Diego Chapter. He is also Co-Chair of the Education Committee and has completed the USGBC Instructor Training Course.