Leadership in Energy and Environmental Environmental Design (LEED) was started by the U.S. Green Building Council as a third party verification for building owners and project managers to ensure that buildings are being erected or refurbished with the most sustainable, energy efficient materials and methods possible.
How does it work?
Buildings may be submitted for review in any stage of development. They are ranked via a system which awards points based on how buildings stack up against sustainability guidelines. LEED certified buildings are more efficient in use of water and energy and have lower greenhouse gas emissions. Depending on the number of points a building earns in the verification process, it can qualify as Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.
Is there a cost?
There is a registration fee due at the time of project submission and a certification fee that must be paid when the application is completed and ready to be verified. The registration fee may vary depending on size of the project and which rating system is chosen. For more information on fees visit http://www.usgbc.org/cert-guide/fees.
What resources are available to help with the process?
The U.S. Green Building Council's website offers numerous resources to help you better understand how to submit your building, which ranking system to choose, minimum program requirements and even guidelines for submitting multiple buildings at once. Visit http://www.usgbc.org/leed.
Why should I get my building LEED certified?
As we realize the increasing importance of caring for our environment, LEED serves as a professional check to ensure you are optimizing use of sustainable materials and building methods in your construction or renovation. In the end, having an energy efficient building will not only help the environment, it will save you money! LEED certification is becoming a marketplace standard with approximately 1.85 million square feet receiving certification daily.