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.

  • Healthcare May Take LEED in New Directions

    News Analysis

    The draft of the LEED for Healthcare covers new ground for a LEED rating sytem, including requiring integrated design and offering a credit for avoiding certain chemicals. If approved by the members of the U.S. Green Building Council, these concepts may find their way into other LEED rating systems.

  • Restructuring of LEED Moves Ahead

    News Analysis

    The U.S. Green Building Council is moving ahead with plans to align and harmonize its LEED rating systems to make certification simpler and allow for refined weighting of environmental and regional concerns.

  • Homes Get Their Own LEED

    News Analysis

    As it rolls out the LEED for Homes rating system, the U.S. Green Building Council is improving the program's certification infrastructure, while sticking with some controversial elements.

  • Neighborhood Developments Line Up for LEED-ND Pilot

    News Analysis

    LEED for Neighborhood Developments, the new LEED rating system, may have to turn away projects for its pilot phase.

  • Cradle to Cradle Recognized in LEED

    News Analysis

    The U.S. Green Building Council will allow projects using products earning Cradle to Cradle certification to qualify for an innovation credit in the LEED Rating System.

  • Boston Requires Large Buildings to Go Green

    News Analysis

    Boston recently revised its building code to require all public and private buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to meet LEED-Certified standards.

  • LEED Streamlined for Real Estate Portfolios, Volume Builders

    News Analysis

    The U.S. Green Building Council's new portfolio program, in pilot phase for the next year, will streamline the process for institutions with large real estate portfolios, and companies building in volume, to certify those buildings with LEED.

  • Cascadia Challenges Green to Go Beyond Platinum

    News Analysis

    The Cascadia Green Building Council has issued the Living Building Challenge, a rating system based on 16 prerequisites, aiming to define a "true measure of sustainability in the built environment."

  • New Infrastructure for LEED

    News Analysis

    Rather than seeking to develop LEED 3.0 as a new version of its LEED Rating System, the U.S. Green Building Council has chosen to create a new framework for managing LEED.

  • Only LEED Meets Its Needs, Says GSA

    News Analysis

    A report released by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) reaffirms that for now, LEED is the most suitable green building rating system for GSA's buildings.