LEED Certification Explained
The Gold Standard for Green Building Design and Construction
It’s no secret that not all buildings are created equal. That applies to both aesthetics and sustainability. Homes and other buildings that don’t use sustainable design and building methods have higher utility bills, lower air quality, and potentially harmful substances in their paints and finishes. That’s bad for you and your wallet.
That’s where LEED comes into play! As the most widely accepted framework for sustainable and green building design in the world, it ultimately makes our lives, health and planet a better place.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and it’s the basis for high-quality sustainable design and construction around the world. Created in 1993 by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED uses a point-based system to grade a home or building’s sustainability level.
The number of points a building can receive depends on extensive criteria that fall into the following categories:
Factors like available bicycle racks, daylight, interior lighting and even access to quality public transit can all affect a building’s LEED point score. However, those factors can vary depending upon which LEED rating system is used.
Any building can be eligible for LEED certification, but not all buildings are graded equally. For example, schools aren’t assigned points in the same way that a home is. Each project has its own unique scorecard based on the following eight categories of LEED v4, the newest version of green building standards:
After tallying the points, each building receives a grade, and it must earn a minimum of 40 points to earn the title of LEED-certified green construction. There are four possible scores you can achieve, each increasing in difficulty and rigor:
The higher the score, the better of a designation you receive as a mark of your building’s sustainability.
Not only does a LEED certification carry a lot of clout, but it also provides homes and businesses with some serious financial, environmental and health benefits.
Although slow to become adopted by society, green living and sustainability are here to stay, and that definitely applies to homes and businesses around the world. The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program is one of the many ways that humanity has created to move us in the right direction.
Every day, we grow increasingly dependent on everyone to do their part and take care of our planet. At Chariot, we’re helping thousands of Texas residents and business owners do their part by providing 100% solar energy plans with no panels required.
The only question remains: What are you going to do?