USGBC LEED Library

US Green Building Council LEED logoWhat is LEED?

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is a point rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the environmental performance of a building over its life cycle and to encourage market transformation towards sustainable design. This voluntary system is credit-based, allowing projects to earn points for environmentally friendly construction of a building and its site. LEED was launched in 1999 in an effort to develop a “consensus-based, market-driven rating system to accelerate the development and implementation of green building practices.”

LEED v4 was launched in 2013 after significant public comment period. Changes to LEED focus on how the building can create a positive impact in these areas: climate change, human health, biodiversity, water, sustainable materials, community and economy. LEED v4 improves on the foundation of LEED 2009 and seeks to increase performance thresholds, and improve project team experience and documentation.