LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
The USGBC’s LEED Certification “distinguishes building projects that have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability by meeting the highest performance standards.” Originally, the certification was for new buildings only (LEED Green Building Rating System for New Construction (LEED-NC)), The USGBC has added the LEED Green Building Rating System for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB), the LEED Green Building Rating System for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) and the LEED Green Building Rating System for Core and Shell (LEED-CS); still others remain in the pilot stage. For more information, visit LEED rating systems.Criteria for Certification
To earn LEED certification, the applicant project must satisfy all of the prerequisites and a minimum number of points to attain a LEED rating level. Out of 69 possible points, a facility must receive 26 to be certified, 33 to be silver, 39 to be gold, and 52 to be platinum.Certification Process
The first step toward earning LEED certification is project registration…Once a project is registered, the project team begins to prepare documentation and calculations to satisfy the prerequisite and credit submittal requirements. It is helpful to have a LEED Accredited Professional as the project contact and team member responsible for coordinating the LEED process...To streamline the application process, required documentation should be gathered throughout the project phases. The certification review process includes application submittal and technical review.Certification fees
The size of the fees is based on the size of the building and the whether the applicant is a USGBC member. The range is from $2,250 to $11,250.