- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 27 Mar 2017
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).
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.
 Find out more
 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
Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
A new theory for managing large complex projects.
A new guide to fire safety and security in the selection of doorsets.
Review of the long-awaited discourse on these beautifully produced, colourful wallpapers.
Well-designed lighting helps maintain a healthy physiological and psychological balance.
Transferring the risk for obtaining the target BREEAM rating.
A simple but effective way to determine the root cause of an issue.
BSRIA report suggest the European market will double to 415 million Euros by 2023.
Why a wellbeing strategy is vital for property managers.
An ECA briefing for members about the commercial implications of leaving the EU.