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Kandalama Hotel
Image credit: Image credit: the Kandalama Hotel

LEED is delivering better buildings

LEED certification provides a framework for green building design, construction, operations and performance. Built-in strategies and related outcomes help buildings and spaces determine what is most important, set sustainability goals and then go on to achieve those goals. Developed in a consensus-based process, LEED ensures that we can demand more from our buildings.

Available for virtually all project types — new and existing interior spaces, buildings, homes and cities and communities — LEED provides a pathway to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. LEED is also applicable at the global, regional and local levels. That means that LEED works no matter where you live.

Green building strategies

Buildings have a substantial impact on the health and well-being of people and the planet. Green building is the practice of designing, constructing and operating buildings to use fewer resources, reduce waste and negative environmental impacts, and decrease costs.

Through the Arc performance platform, USGBC is tracking nearly 56 million metrics tons of GHG emissions associated with energy and transportation, and more than 167 billion gallons of water. The data shows that LEED projects deliver significant reductions in emissions and improvements in occupant experience.

LEED projects employ strategies across several basic areas that address key aspects of green buildings.

  • Integrative process
  • Location and transportation
  • Sustainable sites
  • Water efficiency
  • Energy and atmosphere
  • Materials and resources
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Innovation
  • Regional priority

How LEED works

Certification includes five simple steps:

  1. Determine your project type (new or existing space, building, or city or community) and register. Review the rating systems
  2. Select priorities for your project based on outcomes outlined in the LEED rating system (ex. human health, energy efficiency, water efficiency, etc.). Review priorities in the credit library.
  3. Review the tools and resources available for LEED projects. Access tools.
  4. Document achievement of rating system requirements and credits. Go to LEED Online
  5. Submit for review in LEED Online.

Once certified, track your performance to ensure that you are getting the most from your LEED certification.

Ready to go further? LEED Zero is a complement to LEED that verifies the achievement of net zero goals and signals market leadership in green building. LEED Zero certifications recognize achievements in carbon, energy, water and waste.