What is LEED?
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized green building certification system developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has four levels of LEED:
Certified, Silver, Gold, Platinum
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 improvements, and significant retrofit. LEED for Neighborhood Development extends the benefits of LEED beyond the building footprint into the neighborhood it serves.
LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: Sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
Participation in LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. There are both environmental and financial benefits to earning LEED certification, including:
- Lowering operating costs and increasing asset value
- Reducing waste sent to landfills
- Conserving energy and water
- Developing healthier and safer buildings for occupants
- Creating compact and walkable communities with good access to neighborhood amenities and transit
- Protecting natural resources and farmland by encouraging growth to be located in areas with existing infrastructure
- Reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions
- Qualifying for tax rebates, zoning allowances, and other incentives in hundreds of cities
- Demonstrating an owner’s commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility