What is LEED?
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED® stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Its purpose is to further global efforts focusing on the adoption of green building practices and environmentally conscious development initiatives. This third-party certification is an internationally 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 by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health:
1. Sustainable Site Development
2. Water Savings
3. Energy Efficiency
4. Materials Selection
5. Indoor Environmental Quality
Who uses LEED?
Architects, real estate professionals, facility managers, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, construction managers, lenders and government officials all use LEED® to help transform the built environment to sustainability. State and local governments across the country are adopting LEED® for public-owned and public-funded buildings; there are LEED® initiatives in federal agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Agriculture, Energy, and State; and LEED® projects are in progress in 41 different countries, including Canada, Brazil, Mexico and India.
How is LEED Developed?
LEED® Rating Systems are developed through an open, consensus-based process led by LEED® committees. Each volunteer committee is composed of a diverse group of practitioners and experts representing a cross-section of the building and construction industry. The key elements of USGBC’s consensus process include a balanced and transparent committee structure, technical advisory groups that ensure scientific consistency and rigor, opportunities for stakeholder comment and review, member ballot of new rating systems, and a fair and open appeals process.
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