In short, LEED is a rating system for buildings, equivalent to a gas mileage rating for cars.  Under LEED, buildings accumulate points for things such as saving energy, having accessible mass transit, and mitigating storm water runoff.  Once the points are tallied, the building earns a LEED rating.  The higher the tally, the more sustainable a building is.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Green building Rating System® is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.

LEED standards are currently available or under development for:

  • New commercial construction and major renovation projects (LEED-NC)
  • Existing building operations (LEED-EB)
  • Commercial interiors projects (LEED-CI)
  • Core and shell projects (LEED-CS)
  • Homes (LEED-H)
  • Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND)

LEED was created to:

  • Define "green building" by establishing a common standard of measurement.
  • Promote integrated, whole-building design practices
  • Recognize environmental leadership in the building industry
  • Stimulate green competition
  • Transform the building market

LEED provides a complete framework for assessing building performance and meeting sustainability goals.  Based on well-founded scientific standards, LEED emphasizes state of the art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. 

What is the U.S. Green Building Council?
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is leading a national consensus for producing a new generation of buildings that deliver high performance inside and out.

Council members work together to develop LEED products and resources, the Green-build annual International Conference and Expo, policy guidance, and educational and marketing tools that support the adoption of sustainable building.

Members also forge strategic alliances with key industry and research organizations and federal, state and local government agencies to transform the built environment.