The LEED Rating System

Are you interested in receiving LEED Certification for your building or project?


LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects have to meet certain prerequisites and earn points to earn different levels of certification.

Buildings are certified by the USGBC’s LEED rating system which awards points in six main categories:

1. Innovation in Design ProcessWater-Drops-Leaf-Surface-Wallpaper_zpsqidwfsru

2. Sustainable Sites

3. Water Efficiency

4. Indoor Environmental Quality

5. Materials and Resources

6. Energy and Atmosphere

Goal of the credit system

The current LEED credit system’s goal is to assign points “based on the potential environmental impacts and human benefits of each credit.” These are weighed by using the environmental impact categories of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Tools for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI) plus the environmental-impact weighting scheme developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).


To be eligible for LEED Certification credits, a building has to comply with environmental laws and regulations, occupancy scenarios, building permanence and pre-rating completion, site boundaries, and area-to-site ratios. The owner has to provide data on the building’s energy and water use for five years after occupancy (for new construction) or date of certification (for existing buildings).

Each of the performance categories also have mandatory requirements in each category, these receive no points.

Want more information on the path to becoming LEED certified?

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