As conservation and sustainability become ever more important to the construction and renovation industries,we are constantly fielding questions about LEED.
What is LEED?
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a nationwide standard developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is a nationally recognized benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance environmentally-friendly buildings.
LEED also provides the building industry with consistent, credible standards for the design and maintenance of buildings that are healthy places for their occupants, energy efficient and cost efficient, and built using sustainable materials and procedures.
Why is LEED important?
We live in a world where concerns about the environment and about sustainable development (minimizing the impact of the way we consume renewable resources) are a necessary and growing consideration for everyone. Business and industry are paying close attention to this trend because energy efficiency also affects overhead and profitability, as well as good citizen values. According to the USGBC, LEED-certified buildings cost less to operate and maintain, are healthier places to live and work in, and conserve our natural resources.
- Visit www.usgbc.org for more information.
What is LEED certification?
LEED certification is a third-party validation of a building’s green performance, and it demonstrates that building green can provide benefits without higher costs. LEED credits are awarded based on criteria in five categories of performance.
Architects and building planners apply for this certification, and a building project must meet certain prerequisites in order to be registered. A project must also achieve the minimum number of points to earn a basic “Certified” level of LEED certification. The number of points the project earns determines the level of LEED certification (Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum).
Can products be LEED-certified?
No. LEED applies to green building projects, and the USGBC does not endorse or certify the products or services of any company. However, individual manufacturers’ products can contribute credits under the LEED rating system, including:
- Solar/Photovoltaic Energy
- Lighting Control Systems
- Lutron HomeWorks®