Definition of LEED
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a program of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. LEED is intended to provide building owners and operators a clear and reasonable framework for identifying and then implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
Through the increased use of these Green Building Rating Systems and checklists for public and private sector projects, LEED has become the predominant industry standard for the greening of new and existing buildings. Through unprecedented grassroots participation and collecting the industry’s best practices for environmentally-friendly design, construction, and operation, the LEED program has become status quo and has delivered both additional value and prestige to owners, architects, and contractors, to name a few user groups. Numerous local, state, and federal government-agencies and private-sector corporations have adopted policies and protocols requiring that new construction be designed and certified according to LEED standards.
Depending on the project type, there are several LEED rating systems that SEA has guided projects through:
Existing and new buildings that achieve LEED certification, whether at the Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum level, demonstrate higher performance and value as “green buildings” and “high-performance buildings” in five major categories:
Energy and Atmosphere,
Materials and Resources, and
Indoor Environmental Quality.
The “LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance” or (EB O+M) certification and then re-certification has become increasingly more popular as building owners and property managers seek to improve and distinguish their existing building stock from among those of their competitors as well as benefiting from the increased value associated with LEED certification and re-certification.