Wednesday, 17 August 2011

WHAT IS LEED? And what does it mean for you?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) was developed in 1998 by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to provide a green building certification system.

LEED standards have been implemented in more than 7000 projects in the United States and 30 other countries, which have totaled 1.062 billion square feet of development area. LEED is a primary step towards cleaner, greener, sustainable living.

LEED in Canada

The Canada Green Building Council received permission to adapt the LEED program and tailor it to the Canadian market in 2003. The LEED program was adjusted to specifically meet requirements of the different Canadian climates, construction practices and regulations.

How Does it Work?

LEED measures performance in five key areas:
  • sustainable site development
  • water efficiency
  • energy efficiency
  • materials selection
  • indoor environmental quality

A building or project may earn up to 100 base points depending on its performance in the five environmental categories. There are six additional points that can be earned through a category that focuses on innovation and building design.

There are four possible levels of certification that can be earned:

  • Certified: 40 – 49 points
  • Silver: 50 – 59 points
  • Gold: 60-79 points
  • Platinum: 80 points and above

LEED certification can be obtained by submitting an application online. The applicant must submit documentation and proof of compliance with LEED guidelines and requirements. Applicants must also pay registration and certification fees.

LEED Canada has certification in the following project areas:
·   LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations (NC) 
·   LEED for Core & Shell Development (CS) 
·   LEED for Commercial Interiors (CI) 
·   LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (EB:O&M) 
·   LEED for Homes 

Projects in Canada can register with the USGBC when there is no equivalent LEED Canada rating system. There are four specific USGBC rating system which do not have a Canadian equivalent:
·      LEED for Retail (NC)
·      LEED for Retail (CI)
·      LEED for Heathcare
·      LEED for Schools

The USGBC later created the Green Building Certification Institution (GBCI) to accredit individuals for their knowledge of the LEED rating system. There are two types of accreditation programs that individuals may obtain: LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) or LEED Green Associate (LEED Green Assoc.). The GBCI also provides project accreditation.

Notable LEED Buildings:

Hearst Tower in NYC, certified LEED Gold

Taipei 101 in Taiwan, certified LEED Platinum & world’s tallest LEED building

Vancouver Convention Centre, certified LEED Platinum

Richmond Olympic Oval in British Columbia, certified LEED Silver

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about renewable energy! Knowledge Is Power If there is something else you'd like to know write to us at and we'll do our best to address it for you!