What is LEED Certification?

The USGBC started the LEED rating system as a global framework for sustainable construction. The LEED rating system is available to all types of projects, from new construction to operations and maintenance of existing buildings. Globally LEED has over 130,000 certifications with over 8,800 of them reaching Platinum. It’s no wonder why candidates around the world seek out their LEED Accreditations. The market for sustainable construction is growing exponentially as more developers learn about the benefits of the LEED rating system.

leed certification

LEED Accreditation vs. Certification

A common mistake for a first-time candidate is understanding the difference between certification and accreditation. Accreditation is for people and consists of the Green Associate and AP Specialties. Certification is for projects both new and existing. You can certify a project, but not a person.

Free LEED Practice Exams

Accredited Professional Types of Projects
Building Design and Construction New Construction | Core and Shell
Interior Design and Construction Commercial Interiors
Building Operations and Maintenance Existing Buildings
Neighborhood Development Plan | Project
Homes Homes and Multifamily Low rise | Multifamily Mid-rise

Levels of Certification

There are four distinct levels in the rating system: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Certified. Projects must meet the prerequisites to achieve any of the levels in the rating system. A prerequisite is a credit that provides a minimum achievement level that needs to be accomplished. Each of the credit categories contains prerequisites that need to be met.


The top achievement a building can get is Platinum. A building earning a Platinum Certification has achieved and surpassed all the base credits. From water conservation to energy consumption, a certified Platinum project has shown exemplary performance in each of the credit categories and has earned 80+ points. There are currently over 8,800 Platinum buildings.
leed certification platinum


Earning 60-79 points on the rating system, a Gold building has met all the prerequisites of a certified project, along with exemplary performance on some credits. Innovation credits are often used to reach this level with projects thinking out-of-the-box. Over 25,000 buildings have met the Gold standard.
leed certification gold


A project earning a Silver Certification has achieved all the set standards and prerequisites that encompass the rating system. Under this level, a building has earning 50-59 points. Currently, over 22,000 projects are certified Silver.
leed certification silver

Certified Project

The base level of a building is described under the rating system as ‘Certified’. It has met all the set standards and prerequisites. There are over 21,000 projects that have met the requirements of achieving this Certified level.
leed certification certified