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
We review a book aiming to unpick the complexities of building physics.
An introduction to the categories, procedures and types of listed buildings.
This Australian robotics firm have developed a bricklaying machine capable of building a house in 3 days.
20bn devices will be online by 2020, generating huge volumes of information. Is society making the most of this rich data?
Built over a period of 632 years, Cologne Cathedral is considered one of the world's finest examples of Gothic architecture.
UandI adds £1.5bn to development pipeline.
Here are 5 things leaders can do to create a truly circular economy.
Find out about the different types of delays on construction projects.
Researchers at Wien university have developed new system to create an inflatable concrete structure.
Take a look at this newly-opened tower in Chicago with a remarkable 20:1 height-to-base ratio.
The principles, practice and formwork of one of the most important components of modern architecture.