Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a voluntary environmental certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000. It covers design, construction, operation and maintenance. It is a competitor to the BREEAM environmental assessment method developed in the UK.
Separate LEED rating systems are available for:
- New construction.
- Existing buildings: operations and maintenance.
- Commercial interiors.
- Core and shell.
- Neighbourhood development.
Where a mixed construction is used, a particular system must be adopted if more than 60% of the gross floor area is suitable for that system. If less than 40% is suitable, then that system should not be used, and if between 40 and 60% is suitable, adoption of that system is at the project teams discretion.
Projects are assessed against a range of categories:
- Sustainable sites.
- Water efficiency.
- Energy and atmosphere.
- Materials and resources.
- Indoor environmental quality.
- Locations and linkages (relating to transport and access to open space).
- Awareness and education.
- Innovation in design.
- Regional priority (relating to local issues and priorities).
These categories are given credits which are then weighted, resulting in an overall score. Projects are then are rated as platinum, gold, silver or certified.
Documents demonstrating compliance with the appropriate system are submitted to the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) which provides third party verification of compliance.
As with other assessment methods, there has been shown to be some disparity between predicted performance and actual performance in use. There are also concerns that adopting LEED can increase the capital cost of a project (although whole-life costs may be reduced), and that LEED does not properly take into account local environmental conditions.
The latest version is LEED v4 which includes new market sector adaptations, a new online platform and updated credentials.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Code for Sustainable Homes.
- Common Minimum Standards.
- Energy targets.
- Government Construction Strategy.
- Green rating systems.
- National Planning Policy Framework.
- Performance in use.
- Ska rating.
- WELL Building Standard.
- Whole-life costs.
- Window Energy Rating.
- Zero Bills Home.
- Zero-carbon homes.
- Zero-carbon non-domestic buildings.
 External references
Featured articles and news
PCSAs enable clients to employ contractors before the main contract commences. Read our introductory article.
ICE 200 brings together transformative projects from the past 200 years - and the engineers behind them.
Dame Judith Hackitt hosts an industry summit to kick start the second phase of the review.
This article explains the Buildings Regulations completion certificate, what it is, and when its needed.
Graphene has many potential applications, but when will it start being used in civil engineering?
Increasing productivity – now more than ever as we lead up to Brexit – should be the sector’s number one priority in 2018.
Carillion's collapse causes Construction Leadership Council to delay the construction sector deal report.
Urban Heritage, Development and Sustainability: international frameworks, national and local guidance.
What will the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) mean for you when they come into force in May?
Business Secretary chairs a new taskforce to monitor and advise on mitigating the impacts of Carillion’s liquidation.
Sir John Armitt is appointed the new chair of the National Infrastructure Commission.
High quality and high density homes - is it what we need or is it storing up trouble?