LEED Certification

LEED v4.1 Standard Continues to Grow, Exams Still Cover LEED v4

LEED v4.1 Standard Continues to Grow, Exams Still Cover LEED v4

We first wrote about the LEED v4.1 standard in October 2018. At that time, we looked at how LEED v4.1 differs from LEED v4 and speculated on what the next steps could have been.

Since that time, the LEED v4.1 standard has grown from only focusing on existing buildings to now covering several building types and LEED rating systems.

LEED v4.1 Standard Can Now Apply to BD+C, ID+C, and Multifamily

Don’t be fooled by the BD+C and ID+C acronyms here. In this situation, BD+C and ID+C refer to the LEED rating systems, not the LEED AP Specialty designations for professionals.

The U.S. Green Building Council (or the creators of LEED) have published a series of videos on how to apply the LEED v4.1 standard to building projects seeking LEED certification under the Building Design & Construction, Interior Design & Construction, Multifamily Residential, and Cities and Communities rating systems.

In the three years that the LEED v4.1 standard has been in development, several project teams have had the opportunity to implement LEED v4.1 criteria into their projects.

That said, the LEED v4.1 rating systems are still in beta and need to undergo ballot and finalization processes before they become fully official.

Are the LEED v4.1 Exams available?

The short answer is no.

According to our contact at USGBC, there is no date yet on when the exams will be updated based on LEED v4.1.

Again, the LEED v4.1 rating systems are still in beta and need to undergo ballot and finalization processes before there will be any plans to update the LEED accreditation exams.

Not to worry! As we mentioned in our previous post, the naming convention of LEED v4.1 is meant to represent the fact that the new version is only an incremental improvement over LEED v4. It is not a full version change. If anything, you could say that LEED v4.1 uses LEED v4 as a foundation and stepping stone.

We have no idea when LEED v4.1 exams will be available, so instead of procrastinating on your goal of earning a LEED credential, you should definitely go ahead and pursue LEED v4 accreditation now. Aligned with all the addenda from USGBC, our LEED Exam Prep courses are 100% up-to-date with the latest LEED v4 official standards.

If you want to learn more about the LEED v4.1 standard, I would recommend that you first earn LEED v4 accreditation and then complete the USGBC video series listed above for continuing education. Even the USGBC is positioning LEED v4.1 education as a continuing education opportunity as opposed to your first step in learning about LEED.

LEED v4.1 education opportunities

If you’re brand new to LEED, you should start now with the LEED Green Associate Exam Prep.

Did Covid-19 delay the rollout of LEED v4.1?

There is no evidence that Covid-19 delayed the official launch of the LEED v4.1 standard for buildings or LEED v4.1 exams. It sounds like the LEED v4.1 rating systems would have had to undergo ballot and finalization processes with or without Covid-19.

If anything, USGBC has moved quickly to incorporate health and safety pilot credits into the LEED v4.1 beta in response to Covid-19.

USGBC has made the following pilot credits available:

All of these pilot credits are available for LEED 2009, LEED v4, and LEED v4.1 building projects.

These credits are based on current, known information. USGBC will refine its recommendations and is looking for feedback on the new credits.

Side note – I really like USGBC’s new vision: Healthy people in healthy places equals a healthy economy.

LEED v4.1 Next Steps

If you’ve been following LEED v4.1 since it was first announced in November 2017, then you’ve seen how much progress there has been. It’s taking a little longer than we had expected, but it looks like USGBC is rolling the LEED v4.1 standard out in a very organized and methodical way. Long story short, it’s still coming!

But for now, your best bet for earning an up-to-date LEED credential is to commit to the LEED v4 accreditation, which is the only LEED standard that is available for personal achievement.

If you have any questions on how to get started with LEED, give us a call at (800) 460-2575.

Register now for LEED Green Associate Exam Prep

About Lesley Cowie

Lesley has been passionately advocating for and working with green building and renewable energy since 2009. She has experience with LEED certification, home energy auditing, blower door testing, solar energy, and more. She holds many certifications, including LEED Green Associate and NABCEP Certification. Her work has won numerous awards over the past decade.