Around the world, LEED certification is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability and environmental impact. Securing a LEED designation on your green building is the best way for you to demonstrate that your building project is truly a "Green Building."
LEED professional credentials can be earned by candidates who score passing grades on proctored tests. The testing material is developed through the cooperation between the GBCI and the USGBC
The LEED green building rating system, developed and run by the U.S. Green Building Council, is designed and maintained to promote design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing the negative environmental impacts of buildings and improving occupant health and well-being.
What are the benefits of LEED certification?
LEED certification offers compelling proof to you, your clients, your peers and the public at large that you've achieved your environmental goals and your building is performing as designed. Getting certified allows you take advantage of a growing number of state and local government incentives, and can help boost press impact and interest in your project.
The LEED rating system offers four certification levels:
Certified projects have achieved the base level of the LEED rating system. They have met all the prerequisites for a LEED certified project. Silver projects have achieved a higher rating by achieving more credits and show a more in-depth credit pursuit in their design process. Gold and Platinum projects have achieved the highest level of certification and have shown exemplary performance in sustainability. Often times these projects have achieved innovation credits by going above and beyond the LEED rating system.
These LEED certification levels correspond to the number of credits accrued:
Example New Construction v4 Credit Categories
- Minimum Program Requirements
- Integrative Process
- Location & Transportation
- Sustainable Sites
- Water Efficiency
- Energy Atmosphere
- Materials and Resources
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Regional Priority
LEED certification standards cover new commercial construction and major renovation projects, interiors projects and existing building operations. The LEED standards have been developed over the years to cover commercial "core & shell" construction, new home construction and neighborhood developments.
How does one achieve LEED certification?
The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED website provides tools for building professionals, including: Information on the LEED certification process. LEED documents, such as checklists and reference guides.
Step 1: Registration
Step 2: Prerequisite Credits
Step 3: Other Credits
Step 4: Innovation credits
Prerequisite credits have to be achieved for a project to gain LEED certification status. They provide basic building principals and form the base of the LEED rating system. We recommend following the credit checklist in determining if your project meets all the base prerequisite requirements on becoming LEED certified.
Tips for Becoming LEED Certified
Hire LEED-accredited professionals. Thousands of architects, consultants, engineers, product marketers, environmentalists and other building industry professionals around the world have a demonstrated knowledge of green building and the LEED rating system and process by becoming a LEED Accredited Professional. They can assist you in meeting your LEED certification goal. These LEED AP professionals can suggest ways to earn LEED credits without extra cost, identify means of offsetting certain expenses with savings in other areas and spot opportunities for synergies in your project.