What Is LEED? – Innovation and Regional Priority Credits

This is the eighth and final post in a series on the LEED green building rating system. The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, and the remaining posts looked at each of the six credit categories: Sustainable Sites, Location and Transportation, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality.  We hope you have enjoyed the series!


Innovation Credits

This credit is worth 1-5 points.  Projects can earn additional credits for innovations in green building.  There are three ways to earn credits in this section: (1) Achieve significant, measurable environmental performance using a strategy not included in the LEED rating system; (2) Achieve a pilot credit not currently included in an existing rating system from USGBC’s Pilot Credit Library; or (3) Achieve exemplary performance of an existing LEED prerequisite or credit as per the Reference Guide (usually defined as double the existing threshold or at the next incremental percentage threshold).


LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP)

This credit is worth 1 point.  At least one principal member of the project team must be a LEED Accredited Professional with a specialty appropriate for the type of project.


Regional Priority Credits

This credit is worth 1-4 points.  Regional Priority credits are existing prerequisites or credits in the rating system that have been selected by USGBC Chapters and Regions as especially important in their area.  The USGBC web site has a listing of the priority credits for each region of the United States.  Projects can earn additional points for achieving these credits on their project.  Up to four additional points can be awarded.

For example, one of the RP credits for the Northwest is Rainwater Management.  A project that achieves three points on this credit will get an additional point in the Regional Priority category.  So, a project in the Northwest could earn 4 points for meeting the requirements for 3 points, with no additional work or documentation required.  If the project only earned 2 points under Rainwater Management, however, it would not receive the additional RP point, as 3 points are required per the priority credit database.


Source | Images: LEED v4 for Building Design and Construction (updated July 1, 2014).