Randall Lamb Association

LEED 2009 (V3) vs LEED V4

December 16, 2016

Did You Know?

Projects seeking LEED certification are now required to do so through LEED V4’s new path.  That’s right, LEED 2009 (aka LEED v3) is no longer available for registration. There are numerous changes to the requirements of certification, however the focus of this article is on the Fundamental Commissioning and Verification prerequisites.


So what has changed?

Prior to LEED V4, LEED 2009 required Commissioning only on the HVAC, domestic hot water, lighting controls and renewable energy systems. This has now been expanded to include ALL plumbing systems such as drain, waste, vent and domestic cold water systems; and ALL electrical systems including distribution, panel boards, emergency generators, and UPS systems.

The owner and architect should be aware that this is going to drive the cost of commissioning up significantly; not only the expense of hiring a 3rd party commissioning entity, but the increase in plumbing and electrical contractors’ bids to support this added effort. The contractors will realize that they’ll  be required to attend more meetings, fill out more documentation, and participate in more functional performance verification testing.

In addition, this will change the dynamics of the overall project construction schedule for the owner and general contractor as the increased commissioning effort will take more time to complete. The estimated price increase will be a minimum of 30% for the cost to acquire a commissioning entity, and doubles the cost of commissioning for the plumbing and electrical contractors compared to that of LEED 2009. These costs will be passed on.

Some other changes to both Fundamental and Enhanced Commissioning:
  • (Prerequisite): Commissioning Authority must be engaged before the end of design development.
  • (Prerequisite): Design Review and back check are now required by Fundamental Commissioning, not just Enhanced Commissioning.
  • (Prerequisite): Current Facilities Requirement and Operational and Maintenance Plan, formally known as a Systems Manual, is now required by Fundamental Commissioning and Verification as opposed to only being required if seeking Enhanced Commissioning.
  • (Prerequisite): Owner’s Project Requirements must address the building envelope.
  • (Enhanced Cx): Enhanced Commissioning has been expanded to a potential 6 credit points
    • Standard Enhanced Commissioning can now qualify for 3 credit points.
    • Add Enhanced Monitoring Based Commissioning and add 1 additional credit point.
    • Add Building Envelope Commissioning for an additional 2 credit points.
  • (Enhanced Cx): All enhanced Commissioning now has to develop an Ongoing Commissioning plan.
  • (Enhanced Cx): Seasonal testing must be performed if proper verification of heating or cooling cannot be achieved.


Posted in Commissioning