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Navigating LEED v5: A Guide to the Latest Green Building Standards

With full implementation of new LEED standards happening in 2025, now is the time to begin planning for success.


Since its inception in 1998, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification has been utilized to improve 100,000 buildings worldwide, focusing on a sustainable built environment. LEED’s fourth version (LEED v4) was released in 2013, and a beta version of LEED v4.1 was released in 2019. Introduced at Greenbuild in 2023, LEED v5 beta is the next standard, with the anticipation of a full release LEED v5 in 2025.

The most common certification for buildings one year and older is Operation and Maintenance (O&M). The O&M rating system is focused on sustainable practices for how daily operations and maintenance of a building are conducted. This includes equipment performance, cleaning materials and procedures, lighting, and air quality, among others.

Whether your building is currently certified to either standard of LEED O&M v4 or v4.1, or no certification at all, APTIM can provide the industry knowledge and expertise to elevate your building project to v5-certified.

So, what is different?

LEED O&M v5 will include a more targeted focus on four main areas: occupant health, carbon, equity, and resilience. The main changes for each are listed below:

Occupant Health

By promoting occupant health, companies stand to increase employee retention and productivity through wellbeing and improved focus. O&M v5 certification includes credits toward continual assessment and verification of indoor air quality. This will assist in catching shifts in air quality from daily activities and building equipment performance, while reducing the risk of occupant infections.


Once constructed, a buildings’ embodied carbon and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) come as a source of emissions from refrigerants and buildings systems. Planning for future low emissions targets through smart purchasing and maintenance scheduling will be a large focus for reduction in this new standard.


LEED v5 will have more of a focus on social impact through community service, advocacy, and employee protections compared to previous versions. Additionally, renewable energy sources as part of v5 rating systems will need to support underserved and front-line communities.


For the built environment, resilience means adaptability to a more extreme climate. LEED v5 will look at the health goals of occupants as it relates to the changing environment and how building operations can support them. Building design, both in construction and operation, will also need to perform in a changing climate and consider location-specific threats.

If you are interested in more information about the changes in LEED from v4.1 to v5 or are new to LEED and would like to discuss the journey, fill out the contact form below to get in touch with our Sustainability Team.

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