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.

  • Upgrade to LEED 2009?


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

  • Regulations Demanding Actual Data Are Leapfrogging LEED


    Now that California and Washington, D.C., are mandating energy use reporting for commercial buildings, the designation "LEED Certified" should be reserved for projects that document their actual performance through LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance.

  • Concerns About Broadening LEED's Wood Credit


    Bill Edgerton, AIA, writes about his concerns that broadening LEED's wood credit would weaken LEED and erode USGBC's credibility.

  • Why the USGBC Should Change LEED's Position on Wood


    Alex Wilson, who wrote a white paper for the USGBC recommending changes to the LEED Rating System relative to wood and biobased credits, explains why the changes make sense from an environmental standpoint.