What is LEED®?
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building
Rating System™ encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green
building and development practices through the creation and implementation of
universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.
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
Who uses LEED?
Architects, real estate professionals, facility managers, engineers, interior
designers, landscape architects, construction managers, lenders and government
officials all use LEED to help transform the built environment to
sustainability. State and local governments across the country are adopting LEED
for public-owned and public-funded buildings; there are LEED initiatives in
federal agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Agriculture, Energy, and
State; and LEED projects are in progress in 41 different countries, including
Canada, Brazil, Mexico and India.
How is LEED Developed?
LEED Rating Systems are developed through an open, consensus-based process
led by LEED
committees. Each volunteer committee is composed of a diverse group of
practitioners and experts representing a cross-section of the building and
construction industry. The key elements of USGBC's consensus process include a
balanced and transparent committee structure, technical advisory groups that
ensure scientific consistency and rigor, opportunities for stakeholder comment
and review, member ballot of new rating systems, and a fair and open appeals
LEED Rating Systems
- LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations is designed to guide and
distinguish high-performance commercial and institutional projects.
Buildings: Operations & Maintenance
- LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance provides a
benchmark for building owners and operators to measure operations,
improvements and maintenance.
- LEED for Commercial Interiors is a benchmark for the tenant improvement
market that gives the power to make sustainable choices to tenants and
- Core &
- LEED for Core & Shell aids designers, builders, developers and new
building owners in implementing sustainable design for new core and shell
- LEED for Schools recognizes the unique nature of the design and
construction of K-12 schools and addresses the specific needs of school
- LEED for Retail recognizes the unique nature of retail design and
construction projects and addresses the specific needs of retail spaces.
- LEED for Healthcare promotes sustainable planning, design and construction
for high-performance healthcare facilities.
- LEED for Homes promotes the design and construction of high-performance
- LEED for Neighborhood Development integrates the principles of smart
growth, urbanism and green building into the first national program for
- LEED Rating
- Review and comment on proposed final drafts of new and updated LEED Rating
Frequently Asked Questions
- This is a great resource for first time LEED users and experienced project
team members alike.