When you choose to certify your building with LEED®, you're choosing to build a healthier and more sustainable future. LEED projects prioritize more efficient, low impact building design and construction, over traditional construction practices, in an effort to reduce material waste, reuse materials where possible, and incorporate resources used. Beyond taking greater environmental responsibility, owners of LEED-certified buildings also benefit from tremendous energy- and cost-saving opportunities.
What exactly does it mean to be LEED-certified, and how do you achieve it? Keep reading to learn what a LEED-certified building is and how to get a LEED-certified building project underway for new or existing properties.
What is a LEED-certified Building?
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the world's leading green building rating system. LEED provides a framework for developing healthy, efficient, carbon- and cost-saving buildings that correspond with varying levels of LEED certification.
A building is LEED-certified once it has achieved a certain number of credits—which then earn points—by implementing green building practices that address carbon, energy, water usage, waste, transportation, materials, and health and indoor environmental quality, according to the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The more points a building earns, the higher it climbs on the LEED certification scale.
- Certified: 40-49 points
- Silver: 50-59 points<
- Gold: 60-79 points<
- Platinum: 80+ points
Whether you're looking to make a commercial building more energy efficient, improve indoor air quality in a healthcare facility, lower the operating costs of a retail space, or develop a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, LEED has virtually limitless applications across nearly every building goal. Today, millions of people already live, work, and learn in LEED-certified buildings.
Benefits of LEED certification
Being LEED-certified signifies your building is built or maintained to the highest standard of sustainability and comes with numerous benefits to building owners, occupants, and the surrounding environment. Here are just a few of the many economic, environmental, and health benefits generated by LEED buildings, according to data gathered by the USGBC:
- Significant energy, water, maintenance, and waste savings
- Lower CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions
- Reduction in waste sent to landfills
- Water conservation and recapture
- Reduced indoor and outdoor air pollution
- Higher employee recruitment, retention, and productivity rates
- Improved leasing rates
- More equitable community development
"One of the big things that building owners tell me about when it comes to the benefits of LEED certification is the increased leasing rate that LEED-certified buildings command."
-Robert Anderson, Regional Account Manager