The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating Systems are developed and administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a Washington D.C.-based, nonprofit coalition of building industry leaders. The third party certification program was developed to promote the design, construction and operation of high performance ‟green” buildings. The goal is to use less energy, water and natural resources, while creating less waste in the construction and operation of buildings.
The LEED rating systems offer four certification levels for new commercial construction -- Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum -- that correspond to the number of credits accrued in seven green design categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation in Design and Regional Priority. LEED standards cover new commercial construction and major renovation projects, interiors projects and existing building operations. LEED does not certify, endorse, or promote any product used in the construction of the building. Credits are accrued based upon the ‟green” performance of the building, assisted by the products and materials used.