LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a globally recognized green building certification program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED provides a framework for designing, constructing, operating, and maintaining buildings in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.
LEED encourages the use of sustainable building practices and technologies to minimize the environmental impact of buildings and enhance occupant health and well-being. It promotes strategies such as energy-efficient design, use of renewable energy sources, water conservation, waste reduction, use of eco-friendly materials, and improved indoor air quality.
LEED certification evaluates buildings and projects across several categories, it includes the following categories:
- Integrative Process: This category emphasizes a collaborative approach to sustainable design, encouraging project teams to integrate sustainability goals and strategies early in the project’s planning and design phases.
- Location and Transportation: This category assesses the project’s location in terms of factors such as site selection, access to public transportation, bicycle infrastructure, and proximity to amenities to encourage sustainable transportation choices.
- Sustainable Sites: This category focuses on minimizing the environmental impact of the building site, including issues such as site selection, site development, stormwater management, and restoration of natural habitats.
- Water Efficiency: This category addresses water conservation and efficiency measures, such as efficient fixtures and fittings, water reuse systems, and strategies to minimize water consumption and wastewater generation.
- Energy and Atmosphere: This category emphasizes energy efficiency, renewable energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. It includes requirements for efficient building systems, energy modeling, on-site renewable energy generation, and commissioning processes.
- Materials and Resources: This category promotes sustainable material selection, waste reduction, and life-cycle thinking. It covers aspects such as environmentally preferable materials, construction waste management, and building reuse.
- Indoor Environmental Quality: This category focuses on creating a healthy and comfortable indoor environment. It addresses issues such as indoor air quality, thermal comfort, acoustics, and access to daylight and views.
- Innovation: This category recognizes and rewards innovative strategies and practices that go beyond the standard LEED requirements, encouraging project teams to explore new approaches to sustainable design and construction.
- Regional Priority Credits: These credits vary by geographical location and address specific environmental priorities or concerns within a given region.
Each category has a specific set of prerequisites and credits that projects must fulfill to earn points. The total number of points determines the level of LEED certification: Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum.
The total number of points earned determines the level of certification:
1. Certified: 40-49 points
2. Silver: 50-59 points
3. Gold: 60-79 points
4. Platinum: 80+ points