Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification



The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Since its inception in 1998, LEED 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][citation needed] The hallmark of LEED is that it is an open and transparent process where the technical criteria proposed by the LEED committees are publicly reviewed for approval by the more than 10,000 membership organizations that currently constitute the USGBC.
Individuals recognized for their knowledge of the LEED rating system are permitted to use the LEED Accredited Professional (AP) acronym after their name, indicating they have passed the accreditation exam given by the Green Building Certification Institute (a third-party organization that handles accreditation for the USGBC).

History

LEED began in 1994 spearheaded by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) senior scientist Robert K. Watson who, as founding chairman of the LEED Steering Committee until 2006, led a broad-based consensus process which included non-profit organizations, government agencies,architectsengineersdevelopersbuilders, product manufacturers and other industry leaders. Early LEED committee members also included USGBC co-founder Mike Italiano, architects Bill Reed and Sandy Mendler, builder Gerard Heiber, builder Myron Kibbe and engineer Richard Bourne. As interest in LEED grew, in 1996, engineers Tom Paladino and Lynn Barker co-chaired the newly formed LEED technical committee.
From 1994 to 2006, LEED grew from one standard for new construction to a comprehensive system of six interrelated standards covering all aspects of the development and construction process. LEED also has grown from six volunteers on one committee to more than 200 volunteers on nearly 20 committees and nearly 150 professional staff.
LEED was created to accomplish the following:
  • Define "green building" by establishing a common standard of measurement
  • Promote integrated, whole-building design practices
  • Recognize environmental leadership in the building industry
  • Stimulate green competition
  • Raise consumer awareness of green building benefits
  • Transform the building market
Green Building Council members, representing every sector of the building industry, developed and continue to refine LEED. The rating system addresses six major areas:
  • Sustainable sites
  • Water efficiency
  • Energy and atmosphere
  • Materials and resources
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Innovation and design process



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