Photo © Ana Ka’ahanui


The LEED Rating Systems make up a voluntary program meant to objectively measure how sustainable a building is in several key areas:

  • impact on site and location

  • water efficiency

  • energy efficiency

  • material selection

  • indoor environmental quality

The system also encourages innovation.

The LEED standards are maintained by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a nonprofit, non-governmental, membership-based organization. While participation in LEED is voluntary, the program owes some of its growth to municipal and state ordinances that have mandated it for public buildings and have offered incentives for private buildings.

  • LEED vs. Green Globes: A Definitive Analysis

    Report/Course/Study Guide/Live Webinar

    Green Globes has a new leader and powerful industry backers. But is it truly “better, faster, cheaper”—or none of the above? We match it up point-by-point with LEED in this special 90-page analysis.

  • The BuildingGreen Guide to Insulation

    Report/Course/Study Guide/Live Webinar

    The BuildingGreen Guide to Insulation provides detailed guidance on insulation products and practices, including cost comparisons and detailed recommendations on what insulation to use, and what to avoid.

  • The Sound of Sustainability: Acoustics in High-Performance Design
    September 6, 2017

    Feature Article

    Acoustic performance is often overlooked by human-centered design. A holistic approach shows how to navigate the complexities of “sustainable acoustics.”

  • Materials Transparency & LEED
    December 6, 2017


    This deep dive into the three Building Product Disclosure and Optimization (BPDO) credits in LEED v4 provides the rationale for why product choices are so important, the details on how to achieve points within the three credits, and which options you shouldn't bother pursuing.

  • USGBC Moves to Improve LEED v4
    December 11, 2017

    News Analysis

    LEED v4.1, a new iteration of the green building rating system will be piloted in 2018 with the goal of smoothing over rough spots.

  • An Embarrassment of Riches: Products and Materials at Greenbuild 2017
    November 2, 2017

    Blog Post

    A new focus on embodied carbon and LEED v4 are driving designers to dive deep into what we choose for our buildings

  • California Law Uses Environmental Product Declarations to Drive Low-Carbon Procurement
    October 17, 2017

    News Analysis

    Buy Clean California is the first law in the nation to address embodied carbon in construction materials.

  • How Six Affordable Housing Projects Got to Green
    October 6, 2017

    Feature Short

    Stories of designers and developers who overcame the challenges of building affordable housing that is also green, sustainable, and healthy.

  • Washington, D.C. First to Achieve LEED at Citywide Scale
    October 6, 2017

    News Analysis

    The city is first to earn a Platinum LEED for Cities certification, leveraging information technology to track progress toward a range of sustainability goals.

  • Protect Your Spec: 14 Strategies
    July 6, 2016

    Feature Article

    You’ve selected the ideal materials for your project: now get them into the building.