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USGBC Announces LEED v4.1 Operations & Management Standard

Green product specification

March 29, 2018

On March 26, 2018, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) introduced LEED v4.1, the next evolution of the LEED rating system which addresses some of the challenges in implementation that architects, designers and builders have faced with LEED v4.0. This version of the Operations & Management rating system will be in beta for the coming months so that teams can test it and give feedback. This is the start of a larger process that the USGBC and volunteers are undertaking to update most systems with a v4.1 version. BD&C and ID&C should be released in beta in the coming months.

Some highlights of the changes that could impact product selection and specification:

  • The Materials & Resources Purchasing credit has been revamped and covers more products than in the past while also offering more options for demonstrating the full sustainability profile of products. Options for demonstrating compliance include demonstrating chemical transparency, environmental impact transparency, product emissions and waste diversion. UL SPOT contains products with Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Product Lens that demonstrate environmental and chemical transparency, GREENGUARD Gold Certified products to demonstrate low product emissions, and products produced in facilities that use waste diversion practices validated to UL 2799.
  • Under the Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ) prerequisites, there is a stronger focus to make sure that green cleaning products are utilized in the facility by ensuring that products referenced in the EQ Green Cleaning credit are utilized. The EQ Green Cleaning credit is still designed to reduce potentially harmful chemical exposure to occupants, while also protecting the environment when the cleaning products are used. The way to meet the prerequisite is to establish a cleaning plan using products that meet green cleaning criteria (such as ECOLOGO Certified cleaning products) and a trained cleaning staff to ensure proper usage for minimal exposure. An alternative is to hire a third-party cleaning service that has been third-party certified.

Find products that contribute to the revised LEED v4.1 credits on UL SPOT, the largest credible green product database with more than 50,000 products that can help meet green building credits. SPOT will be searchable by the updated credits in the near future.

We will continue to provide updates, as LEED BD+C and ID+C will be released soon with similar updates and changes.