LEED Rating Systems Overview

LEED Rating Systems | LEED Blog

Just like individuals have credentials such as LEED Green Associate or LEED AP BD+C, all the LEED projects are certified under a single LEED rating system.

All the LEED rating systems are grouped under five broad categories, according to their construction types:

  1. LEED for Building Design + Construction (LEED BD+C)
  2. LEED for Interior Design + Construction (LEED ID+C)
  3. LEED Building Operations + Maintenance (LEED O+M)
  4. LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND)
  5. LEED for Homes

And under these categories, rating systems are differentiated based on their space usage type in order to address specific needs of different project types:

    LEED for Building Design and Construction (LEED BD+C) rating systems
      1. LEED BD+C: New Construction and Major Renovation
      2. LEED BD+C: Core and Shell Development
      3. LEED BD+C: Schools
      4. LEED BD+C: Retail
      5. LEED BD+C: Data Centers
      6. LEED BD+C: Warehouses and Distribution Centers
      7. LEED BD+C: Hospitality
      8. LEED BD+C: Healthcare

        LEED for Interior Design and Construction (LEED ID+C) rating systems

          1. LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors
          2. LEED ID+C: Retail
          3. LEED ID+C: Hospitality

            LEED Building Operations and Maintenance (LEED O+M) rating systems

              1. LEED O+M: Retail
              2. LEED O+M: Schools
              3. LEED O+M: Hospitality
              4. LEED O+M: Data Centers
              5. LEED O+M: Warehouses and Distribution Centers

                LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) rating systems

                  1. LEED ND: Plan
                  2. LEED ND: Built Project

                  LEED for Homes rating systems

                  1. LEED BD+C: Homes and Multifamily Low-rise
                  2. LEED BD+C: Multifamily Mid-rise

                    Projects can also choose to use the rating system selector inside LEED Online, which helps project teams choose the most appropriate system for their project.

                    Some projects may also seem appropriate for more than one rating system. Think about a forty-story high-rise building project that contains a hotel on the first twenty floors and residential units on the floors above twenty. Half of the building can be certified under LEED BD+C: Hospitality, while the other half can be certified under LEED BD+C: New Construction and Major Renovation. But in LEED, projects cannot be divided into different rating systems by section, and the whole project should be certified under one rating system. If more than one rating system seems applicable to a project, the 40/60 rule will be used to decide on the rating system.

                    In the 40/60 rule, a project should be divided into sections according to the appropriate rating system each section fits. Then, the total floor area corresponding to each rating system should be calculated.

                    If the total floor area of one of the applicable rating systems is less than 40% of the project’s total floor area, that rating system cannot be used. If the total floor area of one of the applicable rating systems is more than 60% of the project’s total area, that rating system must be used. If it falls between 40% and 60%, then the project teams can decide on the rating system to be used for the project.

                    Let’s consider a forty-story high-rise building project example, which contains a hotel on the first twenty floors and residential units on the floors above twenty. Since 50% of the project’s total area is appropriate for one rating system and the other 50% is appropriate for the other, the project teams will decide which rating system to use. The project teams can look at the requirements of LEED BD+C: Hospitality and LEED BD+C: New Construction and Major Renovation to decide on the rating system they will pursue. USGBC may ask the project teams to change their rating system if it’s not chosen adequately.