The U.S. Green Building Council reports LEED® is the most widely used third-party verification for sustainable buildings.
WHAT IS LEED®?
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®), is an internationally recognized rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC®) to provide industry standards for sustainability.
LEED is a holistic system that doesn’t simply focus on one element of a building such as energy, water or health, rather it looks at the big picture factoring in all of the critical elements that work together to create the best building possible. The goal of LEED is to create better buildings that:
- Reduce contribution to global climate change
- Enhance individual human health
- Protect and restore water resources
- Protect and enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Promote sustainable and regenerative material cycles
- Enhance community quality of life.
LEED® is a certification program for buildings and communities that guide their design, construction, operations and maintenance toward sustainability. Based on prerequisites and credits, a project achieves one of four certification levels: Certified (40-49 points), Silver (50-59 points), Gold (60-79 points), and Platinum (80+).
LEED® for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance helps building owners and operators measure operations, improvements and maintenance on a consistent scale, with the goal of maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts.
LEED® for Commercial Interiors gives the power to make sustainable choices to tenants and designers, who do not always have control over whole building operations.
LEED® for Core & Shell is for designers, builders, developers and new building owners who want to address sustainable design for new core and shell construction. Core and shell covers base building elements such as structure, envelope, and the HVAC system.
LEED® for Schools recognizes the unique nature of the design and construction of K-12 schools. It addresses issues such as classroom acoustics, master planning, mold prevention, and environmental site assessment.
LEED® for Retail is designed to guide and distinguish high-performance retail projects, including banks, restaurants, apparel, electronics, and "big box".
LEED® for Healthcare guides the design and construction of both new buildings and major renovations of existing buildings, and can be applied to inpatient, outpatient and licensed long-term care facilities, medical offices, assisted living facilities, and medical education and research centers.
LEED® for Homes is a consensus-developed, third party-verified, voluntary rating system which promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes.
LEED® for Neighborhood Development provides independent, third-party verification that a development’s location and design meet accepted high levels of environmentally responsible, sustainable development.