What Is LEED?
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What Is LEED? 


LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized green building certification system. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in March 2000, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance. The LEED rating systems are developed through an open, consensus-based process led by diverse groups of volunteers representing a cross-section of the building and construction industry.

LEED is flexible enough to apply to all building types – commercial as well as residential. It works throughout the building life-cycle – design and construction, operations and maintenance, tenant fit-out, and significant retrofit. And LEED for Neighborhood Development extends the benefits of LEED beyond the building footprint into the neighborhood it serves.

LEED also makes business sense, benefiting commercial building owners as well as tenants.

UGSBC Louisiana is the local voice of USGBC, providing LEED workshops as well as green building tours, networking, and educational events.


What LEED Delivers


LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high building performance and improving occupant health.

Participation in LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance. There are both environmental and financial benefits to earning LEED certification.

LEED-certified buildings are designed to:

  • Lower operating costs and increase asset value
  • Reduce waste sent to landfills
  • Conserve energy and water
  • Be healthier and safer for occupants
  • Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
  • Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities

Moreover, an organization's participation in the voluntary and technically rigorous LEED process demonstrates leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

How To Achieve LEED Certification


LEED points are awarded on a 100-point scale, and credits are weighted to reflect their potential environmental impacts. 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 certified.

Sustainable building strategies should be considered early in the development cycle. An integrated project team will include the major stakeholders of the project, such as the developer/owner, architect, engineer, landscape architect, contractor, and asset and property management staff. Implementing an integrated, systems-oriented approach to green project design, development and operations can yield synergies and improve the overall performance of a building. Initial LEED assessment will bring the project team together to evaluate and articulate the project's goals and the certification level sought.

The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) administers LEED certification for all commercial and institutional projects registered under any LEED Rating System. USGBC administers the development and ongoing improvement of the LEED rating systems. USGBC is also the primary source for LEED and green building education and resources for project teams, such as reference guides, rating system addenda, workshops, online trainings and other tools to help you achieve success on your LEED project.