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About LEED

What is LEED

LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and an international symbol of excellence in green building. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED certification ensures electricity cost savings, lower carbon emissions and healthier environments for the places we live, work, learn, play and worship.

LEED certification is proof that buildings are going above and beyond to ensure the building is constructed and operated to the highest level of sustainability. To earn LEED certification, project teams must earn points outlined in the rating system by adhering to prerequisites and credits across nine measurements for building excellence from integrative processes to building materials ;to indoor air quality. Prerequisites are required elements that must be incorporated into a building project to earn LEED certification, but project teams can choose the credits they want to pursue to gain points toward LEED certification.

The flexibility of LEED allows any project or building type, from office buildings to homes to churches to schools, an opportunity to pursue certification. USGBC has customized the LEED rating system so that projects can earn certification for new construction, interiors, existing buildings, homes, neighborhoods and even entire cities and communities. Ultimately, buildings are about people, and that is why LEED-certified buildings are a signal that human health and well-being was at the heart of its design.

LEED is good for you

According to a USGBC survey, employees who work in LEED-certified green buildings are happier, healthier and more productive than employees in conventional and non-LEED buildings. Eighty-five percent of employees in LEED-certified buildings say their access to quality outdoor views and natural sunlight boosts their overall productivity and happiness. Eighty percent say the enhanced air quality improves their physical health and comfort. Read more about the survey results.

The newest version of LEED

Over the years, LEED has evolved to keep up with changing technology and innovation. USGBC has introduced LEED v4.1 as a series of upgrades that will improve our standards, encourage leadership, and make our platform more user-friendly, more accessible—and most important—more collaborative than ever before.

LEED certification levels

  • Platinum (80+ points)
  • Gold (60–79 points)
  • Silver (50–59 points)
  • Certified (40–49 points)

List of rating systems


Helpful resources to answer questions about USGBC and LEED.

  1. LEED page: an overview of the LEED green building rating system

  2. LEED v4.1: the newest, most inclusive, and most comprehensive version of LEED

  3. The history of USGBC, LEED and the green building movement: part 1 (1993–2003), part 2 (2003–2009), part 3 (2010–present)

  4. The Business Case for Green Building

  5. State LEED briefs and Country LEED briefs

  6. Price structure of LEED certification

  7. Social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube

Please inquire about any project superlatives with our media team.