Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) was formed in 1993 and shortly thereafter, the USGBC launched version 1.0 of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Now currently on version 4.0, LEED, as noted by the USGBC, is “the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings.”

The four levels of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, depending on how many points are earned, are as follows:

  • Certified;
  • Silver;
  • Gold; and
  • Platinum, being the highest achievable rating.

With this in mind, buildings are able to achieve a certain number of points in a variety of categories.  According to Ecohome, there are currently eight categories in the LEED rating system.  These categories are:

  • Innovation & Design Process;
  • Locations & Linkages;
  • Sustainable Sites;
  • Water Efficiency;
  • Energy & Atmosphere;
  • Materials & Resources;
  • Indoor Environmental Quality; and
  • Awareness & Education.

It is also important to note that Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification may be achieved for a variety of building types, including new construction and major renovated properties, along with both commercial and residential buildings.

LEED members may use Renewable Energy Certificates, known by the acronym RECs, and LEED members may also use verified emission reductions (otherwise known as carbon offset credits) to earn points towards their LEED certification in the Energy & Atmosphere category.

USGBC also offers a LEED credentialing program.  This said, there are a variety of online educational resources and one may sit for the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP exams.

To learn more about how to reduce and how to offset your carbon footprint, please visit Carbonfund.org Foundation.  As one of the best carbon offset retailers, Carbonfund.org Foundation can also offer RECs and verified emission reductions for your home or building’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.