The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED, Green Building Rating System began in 1998 developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC is a nonprofit organization working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. The USGBC represents thousands of sustainable building industry volunteers working through committees to provide green building guidance, products and resources. In support of LEED and market transformation, the USGBC offers green building educational resources through workshops, programs, study guides, and product listings.
The LEED Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based, market-driven building rating system based on existing proven technology. It evaluates environmental performance from a whole building perspective over a building’s life cycle, providing a deï¬nitive standard for what constitutes a “green building.”
The rating system is organized into ï¬ve environmental categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. An additional category, Innovation & Design Process, addresses sustainable building expertise as well as design measures not covered under the ï¬ve environmental categories. LEED is a measurement system designed for rating new and existing commercial, institutional and residential buildings. It is based on accepted energy and environmental principles and strikes a balance between known established practices and emerging concepts. It is a performance-oriented system where credits are earned for satisfying criterion designed to address speciï¬c environmental impacts inherent in the design, construction and Operation and Management of buildings. Different levels of green building certiï¬cation are awarded based on the total credits earned.