The LEED Program Helps You Build Green and Saves Money
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building rating system that is used around the world for new construction and renovations. It was developed 20 years ago by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and includes a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green residential and commercial buildings.
A LEED certification is a globally-recognized symbol that means a building has achieved a certain level of sustainability. Certifications are available for a wide range of projects, both residential and commercial. The more points a building receives for satisfying criteria in various areas of the building process, the higher the LEED rating. Ratings are Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.
Certification points are awarded in categories such as water efficiency, which looks for the reduction of the use of potable water, materials/resources, which evaluates the use of sustainable and/or locally-sourced products, and indoor environmental quality.
LEED provides a framework for builders to create healthy, highly-efficient and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certified buildings are intended to use resources more efficiently when compared to conventional buildings built to code. The process is designed to inspire project teams to seek innovative solutions that support public health and the environment.
LEED certified buildings save energy and water and generate less waste.
LEED rating systems have changed through the years and are being continually modified to make sure that new materials and building techniques are taken into consideration. Often, when a LEED rating is pursued, the cost of the initial design and construction rises. This initial cost is balanced by the lower cost of operating a LEED certified building, making a LEED certification worth the investment.
For detailed information about the different LEED certifications, visit new.usgbc.org