What is LEED?

LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. LEED certification provides independent verification of a building or neighborhood’s green features, allowing for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of resource-efficient, high-performing, healthy, cost-effective buildings.


LEED revolutionized the green building marketplace, becoming the international standard for the design, construction and operation of high-performance structures. 


LEED for Interior Design and Construction


We spend 90% of our time indoors. That time should be spent in spaces that allow us to breathe easy, give us views of nature and daylight, and make us healthier and more productive. LEED for Interior Design and Construction (LEED ID+C) enables project teams who may not have control over whole building operations to develop indoor spaces that are better for the planet and for people.


LEED for homes   


LEED homes are built to be healthy, providing clean indoor air and incorporating safe building materials to ensure a comfortable home. Using less energy and water means lower utility bills each month.


The EPA estimates that indoor air is between two and ten times more polluted than outdoor air. LEED-certified homes are designed to maximize fresh air indoors and minimize exposure to airborne toxins and pollutants.


Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points across several areas that address sustainability issues. Based on the number of points achieved, a project then receives one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.


LEED Performance

LEED buildings have an expanded focus on metering and monitoring, encouraging building owners to track energy, water and ventilation rates. With this, teams consider and work toward higher levels of performance for projects at every stage – design, construction and operations.

Health & Human Experience

    • Requirements and options within the Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ) section balance the need for prescriptive measures with more performance-oriented credit requirements.
    • The low emitting materials credit is performance-based and measures the actual emissions form the product instead of only the VOC content
    • Emphasis has been placed on performance-based indoor air quality assessment


    • Minimum of 5 percent energy efficiency improvement over ASHRAE 90.1-2010 – a performance outcome that is 14 percent higher than 2009
    • Minimum ENERGY STAR score raised to 75
    • Installation of meters (through the metering prerequisite and credit) allows teams to meter, monitor and verify their energy use to set and meet building performance goals
    • Improvements aimed at the efficiency of the grid itself though new credits like Demand Response – that look beyond building performance to address utility scale performance


    • As in energy – new metering requirements encourage performance by ensuring that teams have access to and consider data on their water use
    • The “efficiency first” approach to water conservation in each prerequisite is designed to ensure that performance goals are addressed for all LEED v4 certified projects regardless of the source of the water (rainwater, reused or recycled water, etc.)

Materials & Waste 

  • A new building life-cycle impact reduction credit rewards project teams for using less or for using a whole building LCA to reduce the building’s impact in key categories
  • Teams are rewarded for using materials with optimized environmental impacts
  • Updates to the waste diversion credit include a new option that rewards teams for creating less waste to divert

Click for Sample LEED Checklist

LEED for Public Awareness article featuring a Cedar Hill Custom Home


For more information - http://www.usgbc.org/leed