Updates in LEED CI v4 Emphasize the Importance of Commissioning

It is time to begin preparing for the transition from LEED v3/2009 to LEED v4. The v4 reference guides for each rating system do an excellent job of articulating changes to prerequisites and credits. In this blog, I want to specifically address changes in LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors v4 (or LEED CI v4) that relate to commissioning.

New credit: EA Advanced Energy Metering

This credit requires the installation of tenant-level energy meters that capture total tenant energy consumption, which must be shared with USGBC for five years. The alternative compliance option is an advanced energy metering strategy that tracks all energy sources delivered to the tenant space and individual energy end-uses that represent 10% or more of the total energy consumption.To achieve this credit, it is very important that monitoring and metering systems are measuring the correct utility sources, as well as be reliable and accurate. Commissioning these systems is critical to achieve those goals and avoid common problems such as the wrong equipment being monitored / metered or the consumption accuracy being out of calibration – both of which can put your reports in jeopardy. Anyone remember the phrase “…garbage in, garbage out?”

Changed Credit: EA Enhanced Commissioning “Option 2”

This credit now includes an option to conduct monitoring based commissioning of energy- and water-consuming systems for an additional point. This approach provides the tenant and building operations professionals with ongoing performance data that will allow them to track energy use, identify operational problems, and make adjustments that can deliver cost savings.To achieve this additional point, a plan to accomplish the stipulated tasks and goals must be developed by the Enhanced Commissioning Authority (CxA). This plan is not insignificant. That said, the tasks within the plan can be completed by property management personnel or the Enhanced CxA.Also of note for EA Enhanced Commissioning: the CxA may not be an employee of the design or construction firm – even if they are not part of the design and construction team  – nor a subcontractor to the construction firm.

Changed Prerequisite: EA Fundamental Commissioning and Verification

This prerequisite was previously named “Fundamental Commissioning of Building Energy Systems.” Changes to this prerequisite are as follows:

  • Project teams are now required to engage the CxA by the design development phase
  • Requires the CxA to conduct at least one design review
  • Requires development of a detailed Operations & Maintenance Plan to include a sequence of operation, the building occupancy schedule, equipment set points and run-time schedules, lighting levels, minimum outside air requirements,  mechanical, electrical, and plumbing system narratives, a preventive maintenance plan for the aforementioned systems and components, and recommended re-commissioning and continuous commissioning tasks
  • The electrical and plumbing systems commissioning scopes have been expanded (mostly electrical)
  • Building Envelope (scope currently consists of inclusion into the BOD and OPR, and review by the CxA, but does not include constructed assembly performance tests)

Overall, we believe the changes and increased commissioning scopes will benefit the development, construction, and operating teams, while also achieving high building performances at reduced energy consumption.As you begin to register projects under LEED v4, the Commissioning team in GHT’s Operations and Energy Services (OES) studio can help you navigate these new and expanded credits. Contact us for more information, and stay tuned for further posts on the changes from LEED v3/2009 to LEED v4 across CI and other rating systems.

Additional Resources


Raymond Smith, CCP specializes in optimizing the performance of MEP systems in new and existing buildings. As Section Head of Commissioning and Building Operations Consulting in GHT’s Operations & Energy Services (OES) studio, he works closely with facility owners, managers, and operators to solve problems, develop strategies for operational excellence, and provide commissioning services that focus on long-term performance goals.