Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Basics on LEED

LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings.The LEED® (The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ was first developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998 as a way to encourage the development and implementation of green building practices.

The LEED system is based on a whole-building approach, and evaluates building performance across six categories:
Sustainable Sites
Water Efficiency
Energy and Atmosphere
Materials and Resources
Indoor Environmental Quality
Innovation and Design Process

Projects must meet certain prerequisites and performance benchmarks within each category, and are then awarded Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum certification based upon the number of credits they achieve. The LEED plaque is recognized proof that a building is environmentally responsible, profitable, and a healthy place to live and work.

Currently, specific LEED programs exist for:
New Commercial Construction And Major Renovations (LEED-NC)
Guidelines for Multiple Buildings and On-Campus Building Projects (Based upon LEED-NC)
Existing Building Operations And Maintenance (LEED-EB)
Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI)
Core And Shell Development (LEED-CS)
Homes (LEED-H)
Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND)
Healthcare (currently under development)

Some Stats:
$12 billion: Annual market for green building products and services
$1.1 billion+: Square feet of LEED registered or certified commercial building space
6,000: Individual homes in LEED pilot program
54,567: Professionals trained through LEED workshops
38,710: LEED Accredited Professionals
10,735: USGBC member organizations
1,004: Commercial LEED certified projects
7,315: Commercial LEED registered projects
46: Percent of LEED projects owned by federal, state or local governments
41: Countries with LEED projects
50: States with LEED projects, 22 with LEED initiatives for projects
55: Cities with LEED initiatives
(Source: USGBC, August 2007)

To Learn more, visit USGBC or Green Depot - your local green building supplier. Pictured above: interior of Center for the Urban Environment


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