What is LEED?

New to LEED?

LEADERSHIP in ENERGY and ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN, in short LEED®, is a system developed by USGBC to certify high-performance buildings and sustainable neighborhoods.

The LEED® Green Building Rating System™ is a voluntary, consensus‐based rating system that provides third‐party verification that a building or community was designed and built to establish energy savings, water efficiency, location efficiency, improved indoor environmental quality, stewardship of resources, and sensitivity to their impacts. LEED addresses all building types through different rating systems and evaluates a building’s performance throughout the building’s life cycle.

The creation of the LEED green building rating system is led by USGBC member-based volunteer committees, subcommittees, and working groups in conjunction with USGBC staff. After development, LEED’s green building rating systems are subject to review and approval by the LEED steering committee and the USGBC board of directors prior to a vote by USGBC membership.

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
  • Raise consumer awareness of green building benefits
  • Transform the building market