(LEED) Leadership in Energy & Environment Design

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is intended to provide building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

Since its inception in 1998, the U.S. Green Building council (citation LEED for existing buildings v2.0 reference guide page pg 11) has grown to encompass more than 14,000 projects in the United States and 30 countries covering 1.062 billion square feet (99 km²) of development area.[1] The hallmark of LEED is that it is an open and transparent process where the technical criteria proposed by USGBC members are publicly reviewed for approval by the almost 20,000 member organizations that currently constitute the USGBC.

The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) was established by USGBC to provide a series of exams to allow individuals to become accredited for their knowledge of the LEED rating system. This is recognized through either the LEED Accredited Professional(LEED AP) or LEED Green Associate (LEED GA) designation. GBCI also provides third-party certification for projects pursuing LEED.