LEED Green Building Certification - What Is It?
LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized green building certification program. This third-party verification was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and provides building owners a measurable rating for green building design, construction, operation and maintanance. An LEED rating evaluates the following aspects of a building:
- Water Efficiency
- Energy Use
- Materials and Resources Used
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Location and Linkages
- Awareness and Education of its Tenants
- Innovation of Design
- Regional Priority
Who Uses LEED?
LEED is used by architects, engineers, interior designers, construction managers, just to name a few. They use LEED to help transform the building environment to one of environmentally friendly construction and 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 countries worldwide, including Canada, Brazil, Mexico and India.
What Are the Divisions and Standards of LEED?
A standard or third party certification program was established where professionals are credentialed and buildings are certified. LEED has a set of standards that can be applied individually to all unique building types. It has divisions for:
- New Construction
- Existing Buildings
- Commercial Interiors
- Core and Shell
These types of buildings are then rated in four tiers - Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Why is LEED Important?
As the world's population is exploding, the demand for energy and materials is increasing by leaps and bounds. If we do not begin to curtail the explotation and consumption of the planet's natural resources, these resources will run out. Construction of homes and buildings uses a tremendous amount of energy and materials. We have to ensure that we preserve, conserve and sustain our natural resources for future generations by spreading awareness and knowledge of "living green" to everybody that we know. A greener, more sustainable economy requires a new set of standards and initiatives to ensure sustainability. LEED ensures it achieves these standards thus preserving our environment for our future generations.