Introduction to LEED
LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. To see more about LEED metrics, please visit the National USGBC website here.
LEED is flexible enough to apply to all building types – commercial as well as residential. It works throughout the building lifecycle – design and construction, operations and maintenance, tenant fitout, and significant retrofit. And LEED for Neighborhood Development extends the benefits of LEED beyond the building footprint into the neighborhood it serves.
Who uses LEED?
Architects, real estate professionals, facility managers, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, construction managers, lenders and government officials all use LEED to help transform the built environment to sustainability. State and local governments across the country are adopting LEED for public-owned and public-funded buildings; there are LEED initiatives in federal agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Agriculture, Energy, and State; and LEED projects are in progress in all 50 states and 104 different countries, including Canada, Brazil, Mexico and India.
How to achieve certification
Third-party certification through the independent Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI.org) assures that LEED buildings are constructed as intended. GBCI includes a network of ISO-compliant international certifying bodies, ensuring the consistency, capacity and integrity of the LEED certification process. An organization’s participation in the voluntary and technically rigorous LEED process demonstrates leadership, innovation and environmental stewardship.
LEED points are awarded on a 100-point scale, and credits are weighted to reflect their potential environmental impacts. Additionally, 10 bonus credits are available, four of which address regionally specific environmental issues. A project must satisfy all prerequisites and earn a minimum number of points to be certified.