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.

  • Finding Products for LEED v4 and v4.1

    Spotlight Report

  • 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.

  • How RECs Work—and Why You Might Not Own Your Clean Energy


    Even if you buy into a solar farm or host an array, someone else can claim the benefits. Here’s how to get what you expect.

  • Owner’s Project Requirements: What It Is, What It Could Be


    Clients, designers, and commissioning agents don’t always get what they need out of the OPR. Some teams are trying to change that.

  • Green Chemistry Meets Green Building


    What is green chemistry, and how does it fit into LEED? We explain the relationship—and some tensions.

  • 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.

  • Post-Occupancy Evaluations: Ignorance Isn't Bliss


    POEs tell you everything you ever wanted to know about your buildings. Don't be afraid to ask.

  • The Cost of LEED Certification


    How much does LEED certification cost in commercial construction? Earning LEED certification involves several types of costs, and you have to consider each separately to get an accurate picture.

  • Upgrade to LEED 2009?


    Projects currently registered under LEED-NC 2.2 can transfer to LEED 2009 before certifying. Should your project switch?