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LEED® certification

LEED Certified Sustainable Building Designs 

The LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, green building certification program is a nationally accepted standard for design, construction, and operation of sustainable buildings.

LEED green building certification was developed by the USGBC® (U.S. Green Building Council®) in 1999.   "The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 78 local affiliates, more than 20,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 140,000 LEED Professionals™, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. USGBC is the convenor of the Greenbuild® International Conference & Expo."

LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in areas of human and environmental health.

LEED is a performance based system with four levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.  Certification is achieved by earning credits in different categories.  For example, six categories for LEED rating systems that address green building design and construction as well as two interior design and construction rating systems are as follows:

• Sustainable Sites (SS)
• Water Efficiency (WE)
• Energy & Atmosphere (EA)
• Materials & Resources (MR)
• Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
• Innovation in Design (ID)

Why would LEED certification be beneficial to you?

  • Third party proof that a project meets high performance standards
  • Nationally recognized as environmentally responsible
  • Visible and marketable expression of owner’s values
  • Secure donor giving with measurable results

Steps to LEED certify your project

  1. Set project goals
    • Does the owner want the building to be LEED certified?
    • What category of certification is desired?
    • What are the commitments regarding time and cost?
  2. Register your project with the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council)
    • Registration fee required
  3. Develop a strategy for certification
    • Select level of implementation
    • Make tough decisions
    • Use credit rating system
  4. Certification and documentation process
    • Certification fees required
    • Documentation submittal
    • LEED technical review
    • Appeal submittals
    • Certification award
    • Platinum certification rebates

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