LEED v4.1 Safety First Credits To Combat COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted On: 
Aug 19, 2020

The USGBC has launched six new pilot LEED v4.1 credits to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic. The credits aim to assist project teams to provide healthy spaces, and to help with re-entry into the workplace. The LEED credits list sustainable best practices that coordinate with public health and industry guidelines related to cleaning and disinfecting, re-entering the workplace, HVAC and plumbing operations.

We will provide an examination of the LEED v4.1 certification resources currently available related to the pandemic. The USGBC has provided several Covid-19 resources, to help LEED project teams with projects. The credits and resources are geared for both new existing buildings, construction worker safety, and facilities management and operations. The new LEED v4.1 credits include:








COVID-19 Pandemic Effects On Construction

According to a recent report by Dodge Data and Analytics, the construction industry has been severely affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic. The report states that commercial and multifamily starts stalled in March and took a massive hit in April. Municipal restrictions and lockdowns had a significant effect on commercial office buildings, stores, hotels, and multi-family projects. Even though construction started again in parts of the country in May, the negative effects took their toll.

In the top ten metropolitan areas, commercial and multi-family starts have slid by over 20%. According to Richard Branch, Chief Economist for Dodge Data & Analytics, “The COVID-19 pandemic and recession have devastated most local construction markets. Across the board, building projects have been halted or delayed with virtually no sector immune from damage.”

Healthy People in Healthy Places Equals a Healthy Economy

The USGBC has launched the Healthy People in Healthy Places Equals a Healthy Economy, to combat the pandemic and support a recovery effort. The USGBC states that the pandemic crisis will impact the construction industry for years and that the world may not look the same ever again. The USGBC’s new plan aims to support a healthy economy and public health. The new LEED v4.1 Safety First credits are designed to support the USGBC’s mission at recovery and a path forward in a post-pandemic world.

The Covid-19 Pandemic has affected everything from credentialing to LEED certification. LEED project teams are being given extensions for activities being delayed by the pandemic. Reduced occupancy is affecting LEED building data and scores. In a previous blog, we discussed in detail the major effects COVID-19 has had on the AEC community and how new strategies are being developed to combat the crisis. Our team conducted a deep dive into the new LEED pilot credits and we recommend readers to review this critical information.

Additional USGBC Resources

The USGBC has launched several helpful resources related to worker exposure to COVID-19. The resources include information from:








LEED project teams, contractors, sub-contractors, and others are recommended to research this information to protect their employees. The USGBC plans on updating COVID-19 resources and information as the pandemic crisis changes on the ground. We look forward to a strong recovery for the AEC industry and hope these resources prove useful.

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank