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Sustainability Series: LEED Part 1

2 years ago

Sustainability Leed

WHAT IS LEED?

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is the most widely used third-party verification for green buildings, with around 1.85 million square feetbeing certified daily.

LEED covers both new build and refurbishments across the whole building sector, including office space, through to homes and hotels.  

LEED certification means healthier, more productive places, and reduced impact on the environment by encouraging energy and resource-efficient buildings.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

There are several areas that can earn points towards LEED certification which address sustainability issues. Based on the number of points achieved, a project then receives one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

HOW ARE POINTS GAINED?

What is the difference between LEED points, LEED credits and LEED prerequisites as they all contribute to certification?

Prerequisites

To achieve LEED Certification, meeting the prerequisites is mandatory, whereas projects can choose which credits they want to pursue. Prerequisites set the minimum requirements that all buildings need to meet in order to achieve LEED certification.

Credits

Each project can choose which credit they want within their chosen rating system as long as it applies to their project type. However,certain credits work particularly well with certain prerequisites or even other credits and this is called an integrated process.

If prerequisites are the foundation, then credits are everything else. Credits earn you points.

Points

The more points the higher the reward. When it comes to LEED there are many rewards ranging from healthier spaces to buildings that save money and resources. The number of points a project earns determines the level of LEED certification it receives. There are four levels of certification:

  • Certified (40-49 points)
  • Silver (50-59 points)
  • Gold (60-79 points)
  • Platinum (80+ points)

My next article will focus on the water saving element of LEED, and how points can be earned by the right washroom specification.

www.usgbc.org/leed

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