Definition of Prescriptive in LEED and standards

Katie Fink's picture
Katie Fink
October 17, 2013

I often see the word "Prescriptive" when describing the various options for compliance paths, for instance in the requirement options within EAp2: Minimum Energy Performance in LEED. To comply with this prerequisite option 1 offers a building simulation, option 2 refers to ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides (prescriptive) approach and option 3 refers to Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide (prescriptive) approach. What are the implications of "prescriptive"?


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Rob Freeman's picture
October 17
1 users voted0 users voted

Hi Katie, prescriptive as an option describes exactly what is required in terms of the design and performance of the building according to the standard. The designer has to follow exact instructions and not deviate (or use their own approach). A prescriptive approach might make sense in a very simple building design, say with single HVAC, water and lighting systems.

The alternative to a prescriptive path is a performance-based method where the architect or designer may have greater flexibility and freedom in designing the building, but aim to achieve the same performance level as demonstrated through a building energy simulation. ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 offer multiple compliance paths.

Umar Zakaria's picture
December 19
0 users voted0 users voted

I had the query in my mind for so long, thanks for the explanation, it faily answers it


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