Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
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Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design(LEED)
A third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability, factoring in community resources and public transit, site characteristics, indoor environmental quality, awareness and education, and innovation by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor air quality. There are LEED ratings (project certification) for commercial and residential construction, as well as for specific applications such as neighborhoods, and specific applications such as retail, multiple buildings/campuses, schools, healthcare, laboratories, and lodging. This program was developed and is operated by the U.S. Green Building Council. Buildings evaluated by LEED are rated as certified, silver, gold, or platinum. There are a total of 69 LEED credits available in the six categories: 26 credits are required to attain the most basic level of LEED certification; 33 to 38 credits are needed for silver; 39 to 51 credits for gold; 52 to 69 credits for the platinum rating.