LEED is the one of the most widely recognized program for rating the design, construction and operation of green buildings. It provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed, built and/or operates using strategies aimed at improving performance across important metrics including energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Participation in LEED is voluntary and certification is flexible enough to apply to all building types – commercial as well as residential. It works throughout the building lifecycle – design and construction, operations and maintenance, tenant fit-out, and significant retrofit.
LEED Certification promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability and uses a 100-point system that awards credits to projects based on how well they demonstrate environmental performance in the following key areas:
Additionally, 10 bonus credits are available, four of which address regionally specific environmental issues. A project must satisfy all prerequisites and earn a minimum number of points to be designated LEED certified.
LEED Rating System Updates:
The LEED Rating Systems are frequently updated to reflect building real world design, application, and operations. In November, 2013, the US Green Building Council unveiled LEED v4 which will replace the current rating systems in June, 2015. Buildings may be certified to either v2009 or v4 until then. The new construction rating system adopts ASHRAE 90.1 2010 with a focus on energy efficiency, and a new lighting category is included.
To view the new rating system, visit
New Construction and Major Renovation
Core and Shell Development
Warehouses and Distribution Centers
Homes and Multifamily Lowrise
*LEED also offers a rating system for Neighborhood Development and for Homes.
Designed to guide and distinguish high-performance commercial and institutional projects
Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance
Provides a benchmark for building owners and operators to measure operations, improvements and maintenance
A benchmark for the tenant improvement market that gives the power to make sustainable choices to tenants and designers
Core & Shell
Aids designers, builders, developers and new building owners in implementing sustainable design for new core and shell construction
Recognizes the unique nature of the design and construction of K-12 schools and addresses the specific needs of school spaces
Recognizes the unique nature of retail design and construction projects and addresses the specific needs of retail spaces
Promotes sustainable planning, design and construction for high-performance healthcare facilities
Promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes
Integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building into the first national program for neighborhood design
LEED EB Mercury Credit