Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance.
LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. 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. 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 finish out, and significant retrofit.
LEED-certified buildings are designed to:
• Lower operating costs and increase asset value.
• Reduce waste sent to landfills.
• Conserve energy and water.
• Be healthier and safer for occupants.
• Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
• Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities.
• Demonstrate an owner's commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.
LEED projects are rated by points and 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:
• Certified= 40 - 49 points
• Silver=50 - 59 points
• Gold= 60 - 79 points
• Platinum= 80 to 110 points.
The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) assumes administration of LEED certification for all commercial and institutional projects registered under any LEED Rating System.
USGBC, Copyright © 2010 U.S. Green Building Council. All Rights Reserved. USGBC, U.S. Green Building Council® and LEED® are registered trademarks of the U.S. Green Building Council.