LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a voluntary, national green building standard and certification system created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), of which Seattle is a member. Developed through a consensus process, LEED sets the standard for high-performance green buildings. It is based on well-founded scientific standards, accepted principles and best practices.
LEED encourages an integrated design process and establishes performance goals in the form of credits for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality, and process and innovation. Points are awarded for credits achieved, with a total of 100 points possible. Forty percent of these points must be achieved to gain certification, which includes four progressive levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
A variety of LEED products are available or under development. The most commonly used product is LEED for New Construction & Major Renovations of commercial, institutional, and high-rise residential projects. For more information on LEED, visit www.usgbc.org/LEED.
Green Building Certification Institute
Several important changes were made to the LEED rating system in 2009. With the upgrade to LEED v.3, changes to LEED include bringing all certification systems and professional credentials under the umbrella of a new Green Building Certification Institute, improving the LEED Online process, and making several technical changes within the individual LEED rating systems.
LEED Tools for Public Projects
Sustainable building design, construction and operation entails a departure from traditional processes, an integrated approach involving all affected parties at the earliest possible stage. To facilitate the use of LEED™ by City of Seattle project managers and their design teams, the City and consultants have developed a series of tools, available in City Projects Design Tools & Strategies.
Building research reports that include LEED cost/benefit analysis and performance and evaluation plans are available in Research & Reports.
About the USGBC
A non-profit organization, the USGBC is the nation’s foremost coalition of leaders from all sectors of the building industry working together to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work For more information on the USGBC, visit www.usgbc.org.
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