What is LEED?

LEED is a national third-party certification system that recognizes leadership in green building. It is developed by consensus process by volunteer members of the U.S. Green Building Council who contribute their expertise to its technical development. LEED was first introduced in March 2000 for new commercial construction, and has since grown to include specialized versions for homes, neighborhood development, commercial interiors, high-performance building operations and maintenance, and core and shell development. More than 3.2 billion square feet of real estate in the U.S. and in 60 countries are pursuing LEED certification.

LEED measures green homebuilding performance based on seven categories: site selection, water efficiency, materials & resources, energy & atmosphere, indoor environmental quality, location & linkages, and innovation.  Within each of these areas, projects earn points toward certification. LEED has four levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum, with Platinum representing the highest level of achievement.