LEED

Photo © Ana Ka’ahanui

OVERVIEW

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.

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  • Materials Transparency & LEED

    Webcast

    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.

  • How Six Affordable Housing Projects Got to Green

    Feature Short

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

  • Building Product Disclosure & Optimization (BPDO) Cheat Sheet

    Infographic

    The three Building Product Disclosure and Optimization (BPDO) credits in LEED v4 are pushing the industry into new territory. Suppliers have made significant progress on materials transparency and optimization since the release of version 4, but not enough to make all the points realistically achievable. With version 4.1, LEED has modified thresholds and simplified requirements so that all six points should be within reach for most projects.

  • VOCs in LEED and Other Rating Systems

    Feature Short

    Most building certifications encourage low-emitting and low-VOC products, but they all do it differently. Here’s how it all fits together.

  • Why “Zero VOC” Was Never Enough

    Feature Short

    We used to look for coatings, adhesives, and sealants that contained no VOCs. Great for smog prevention, but IAQ and installer health are also important.

  • EPD Quick-Start Guide: 5 Easy Steps

    Infographic

    Use these tips to get what you need from an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), fast.

  • HPD Quick-Start Guide: 5 Easy Steps

    Infographic

    How to get solid information from a Health Product Declaration (HPD), in just five steps.

  • EPDs Will Change How We Build—But Slowly (Executive Summary)

    Feature Short

    Are EPDs actually going to have an impact on sustainable design and construction practices? Eventually. Just don’t get caught up in the hype.

  • Getting the EPD Credit in LEED v4: Atlanta Stadium

    Feature Short

    Innovations go far deeper than a stunning, biomimetic roof. The Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium aims to bring green building to the masses.

  • LEED v4 and EPDs: How’s That Market Disruption Working Out for You?

    Feature Short

    More EPDs are appearing as a result of LEED v4, even as problems with data quality get worked out on the fly.