What is LEED?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system. It evaluates building design, development and operation with an emphasis on energy and water efficiency, sustainable materials & resources, improved indoor environmental quality, and a commitment to the stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

How is it calculated?

A building may apply for LEED credits in five different categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. A total of 110 credits or “points” are awarded across these categories, with various thresholds for different levels of certification.

There are four levels of LEED certification, each representing an increasing level of sustainability for a building. The four levels are LEED Certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold and LEED Platinum.

There are six categories in which a building or project can apply for LEED certification:  LEED for Homes, Neighborhood Development, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell, New Construction, and School, Healthcare and Retail. Any building that is going to try to achieve LEED certification must choose a category under which to apply.


Achieving LEED certification on a building is a sign that the building has been built and/or operated with a high level of regard for its environmental impacts. The certification is a prestigious mark of which many companies find pride in being a part, because occupancy of the buildings can be economically profitable and positive inferences to the sustainable commitment of the company by employees and customers may be drawn. learn more