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What is LEED?

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council or the USGBC. The purpose of LEED is to improve the performance of various home, building, and community designs in relation to energy conservation, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved qualities of interior environments and stewardship of resources, and raising awareness about their impacts.

LEED is a green building tool that recognizes the best-in-class building strategies. It provides a framework on how to successfully achieve pragmatic, attainable green building designs, construction, operations, and maintenance.

One notable characteristic of LEED is its versatility in terms of who is applies to. It can apply to building types such as commercial, residential, and neighborhood communities. It can also be applied to projects such as construction and renovation, schools, healthcare facilities, as well as the operation and maintenance of existing buildings.

The very essence of LEED is its way of continuously altering, transforming, and innovating our ways in design, construction and maintenance. It shapes the entire process of design by promoting sustainable methods in order to preserve Earth’s resources.

The prerequisites are the required elements or the strategies of each category in the LEED rating system. LEED prerequisites and credits provide the tools to cater to unique, individual projects.

Rating Systems

The rating system provides a set of requirements for projects that want to achieve LEED certification. It consists of credit categories wherein projects must fulfill the prerequisites in order to earn points. The points will represent the level of a project’s LEED certification.

The main categories of the LEED rating system include sustainable site credits, water efficiency credits, energy and atmosphere credits materials and resources credits, indoor environmental quality credits, and many more.

LEED Certification

LEED certification provides homes, buildings, or communities third-party verification in relation to the strategies used in a design. In order to be LEED certified, one must be able to create sustainable spaces. A topnotch performance in key areas of: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality are monitored and graded closely by the program.

The following levels indicate the number of points and its corresponding certification:
Certified: 40–49 points
Silver: 50–59 points
Gold: 60–79 points
Platinum: 80+ points

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Being LEED certified has its advantages. First, it increases your asset value and at the same time decreases operating costs. Ultimately, these lowered operating costs are driven by the conservation of energy, water, and other resources.

Being LEED certified also boosts better ways of living that lead to healthier homeowners, occupants, or workers. Green buildings provide better indoor air quality and lighting. They also provide a much safer environment, which could lead to increased levels of productivity, employee retention rates, and reduced worker absences.