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.

  • Modular Home Earns LEED for Homes Platinum

    News Analysis

    A modular house produced by LivingHomes, Inc., in Santa Monica, California, has earned the country's first Platinum rating in LEED for Homes.

  • WTC Going for Gold

    News Analysis

    Three new World Trade Center towers to be built in New York City will pursue LEED Gold certification.

  • USGBC Seeks to Make LEED More Wood Friendly

    News Analysis

    The U.S. Green Building Council is promoting a plan to expand LEED's recognition of wood while refining its handling of non-wood biobased materials.

  • USGBC Allows Credit-by-Credit Upgrading

    News Analysis

    Projects that were registered under LEED 2.0 or 2.1 can now be submitted for certification using version 2.2 requirements for individual credits.