LEED or The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a global standard green building certification system which offers a new standard for environment friendly and sustainable design. It developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in United States at 1994 and provides a service to architects, engineers, developers, building owners and other industry leaders. It is also covers the building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. LEED has a different certification standard such as new construction and major renovation projects, existing building operations, commercial interiors projects, core and shell projects, homes and neighborhood development.
Comparing LEED certified building to other building which built base on building code; LEED regularly use resources more efficiently than others and frequently offers more eco friendly option to environment. Building types in LEED are includes offices, retail and service establishments, institutional buildings such as libraries, schools, museums and religious institutions and also hotels and residential buildings. LEED system provides the service to all 50 states of the United States and 91 countries and more than 40.000 projects are contributing.
LEED service works base on points. In face, “there are 100 possible base points plus 6 points for innovation in design and 4 points for regional priority”. Some of the categories are sustainable site 26 possible points, water efficiency 5 points, materials and resources 14 points, indoor environmental quality 15 points. Also each section divided by smaller option. For instance sustainable site has some option such as construction activity pollution prevention plan which is required, site selection 1 point, storm water manegment 2 points, reduse heat island 2 points, light pollution reduction 1 point and etc… By adding points building can be qualify for four special level of certification including Certified - 40-49 points, Silver - 50-59 points, Gold - 60-79 points, Platinum - 80 points and above. It is really user friendly service and after submitting an application online with documents and requirements consumer pay registration and certification fees and certification is going to process and decided by the Green Building Council.
Buildings including residential and commercial are account for 40% of energy usage and CO2 emissions and designing an eco friendly building is necessarily in our decade. Thus it brings a big responsibility to architects and other people who are involved in building industry. By having a good standard certification system architects could achieve their goals which is using less energy, water efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, CO2 emissions reduction and gaining healthier environment for all community.