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.

  • BuildingGreen’s Guide to Products for LEED Projects

    Product Guide

    The products in the collections listed here contribute to the requirements of key LEED credits.

  • LEED Finally Lives Up to Its Promise


    The 4.1 version of LEED’s design and construction rating systems is outstanding. Is it too late? 

  • Materials Transparency & LEED


    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.

  • FSC, LEED, and the Price of Perfectionism


    A hard line against industry-sponsored alternatives to FSC certification in the past may have unfortunate outcomes for the world’s forests.

  • Finding HPDs: How We Do It At BuildingGreen


    There are several ways you can find Health Product Declarations. Here’s a look at them, including what BuildingGreen offers.

  • Three Steps To Make Green Globes Part of the Solution


    An entry-level alternative pushing LEED to get better would be great, but GBI’s Green Globes needs to start by joining the green building community.

  • LEED vs. Green Globes: What's the Difference?


    If your clients haven’t asked you about Green Globes yet… they will. Are you ready? Our webcast includes insights from practitioners who have done both LEED and Green Globes. We share their surprisingly frank insights into what drives client interest in each system, what they cost, how they perform, and even how many hours they take.

  • Building as an Organism: Understanding the Integrative Process Credit in LEED v4 Projects


    What does integrative process mean in practice? In this webcast, John Boecker—a LEED Fellow who was intimately involved in writing LEED v4's Integrative Process credit—walks you through what the IP credit means...how to take advantage of its opportunities…and engage in a process that yields far better building performance than conventional means.

  • Benedictine Monastery Receives Highest LEED Score

    Case Study

    The Holy Wisdom Monastery in Madison, Wisconsin, home to the Benedictine Women of Madison, recently earned a LEED score of 63 points, becoming the nation's top-rated LEED building.

  • Chicago's FBI Building Earns First Platinum LEED-EBOM Certification

    Case Study

    A strong partnership between owner and tenant helped the FBI's Chicago Regional Office earn the first Platinum LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance certification.