How Does the LEED Green Building Rating System Operate?


Quick Answer

When a building incorporates energy-efficient and other green designs into its architecture and consists of enough prerequisites and credits to earn points, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System certification works by providing independent, third-party verification of a building's high performance in key areas. Certification ratings include certified, silver, gold and platinum.

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Full Answer

The number of points accumulated by a building's energy-efficient and green designs determines its certification rating. A building can generally earn points in the five key areas of performance recognized by LEED, which include sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. A building can also earn points through the innovation and design process, which awards point for exceeding the minimum standards in the other five key areas.

The LEED certifies a building based one of five rating systems, which depends on the type of project and construction and includes building and design construction, interior design and construction, building operations and maintenance, neighborhood development and homes. The project team chooses one rating system for the building. Each rating system is composed of its own credit categories, such as water efficiency, energy and atmosphere or location and transportation, and each credit category is made up of prerequisites that a building must meet to earn points. The LEED Green Building certification provides a universal standard by which all buildings are judged in sustainability.

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