What are LEED Exemplary Performance Credits

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exemplary performance

Projects that go above and beyond the requirements to earn a specific LEED credit are awarded additional points for their excellent performance which is called exemplary performance. In order to get these points, you will often need to achieve a new, higher percentage level or even complete twice a credit requirement.

What is Exemplary Performance in Detail

After going through the 100 possible LEED points, you can target 10 innovation bonus points. Which are mainly 3 options to choose from.

Exemplary performance

Option 1 – Innovation

This option basically is what really is innovative. Since you would be asking the assessors to check a new approach that is not available in the credits. Asking the GBCI assessors to consider a new creative sustainable strategy that isn’t covered there to make a noticeable and significant change. There are some requirements to be sent to the assessors with the intent of the credit. Like details about the proposed innovation credit, including its rationale, proposed standards for compliance, planned submittals to show compliance, and design strategy or methods employed to satisfy the requirements;

Option 2 – Pilot

For projects that are accepted in option 1, they will then be moved to the pilot list. So that any project owner interested in including innovation. It is not needed to create something from scratch but use what others have done and accepted by USGBC and GBCI.

Option 3 – Additional Strategies

Under the last option, you can target options 1 or 2 and 3 to gain the most amount of points for innovation. Now option 3 includes the focus of this article, exemplary performance.

The best way to understand the full potential of it is with an example of the credits to see how it is used. Let’s take the water efficiency category with a focus on indoor water reduction as a reference. The first step is to achieve the prerequisite 20% water reduction which is mandatory with no points to award.

The next step would be reducing more water to achieve the credit and gain points. If you achieve anywhere between 25% and 50% you are going to gain 1 to 6 points and that is the maximum you can get. But what if you reduce 60% or 70% or more water from the baseline? Then you gain more than points than the credit has to offer, you gain innovation points as well, specifically exemplary performance points.

How many exemplary performance credits are there?

Not all LEED credits may be obtained for those credits, and the requirements for achieving them vary depending on the credit that is available. Usual credits with percentage requirements like water or energy performance reduction are eligible for the exemplary performance credits.


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