What is LEED Certification?

LEED = Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

LEED is one of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide. There are two commonly confused terms when talking about LEED.

LEED Certification refers to buildings that have been designed, built, and maintained using best practice strategies for green building and energy efficiency.

LEED Accreditation refers to people who have demonstrated their understanding of green building principles by way of passing a professional credentialing exam.

If you're interested in pursuing a professional LEED credential, get started with our popular LEED Green Associate Exam Prep training course!

How to Earn LEED Certification

In order for a building project to earn LEED Certification, it must meet certain criteria and goals within the following categories:

  • Location and Transportation - how close the project is to mass transit
  • Materials and Resources - use locally sourced, sustainable products
  • Water Efficiency - reduce potable water usage
  • Energy and Atmosphere - improve energy performance and indoor air quality
  • Sustainable Sites - utilize nearby natural resources and ecosystems that can naturally take part of the design, minimizing environmental pollution
  • Regional Priority Credits - addressing a particular concern based on location
  • Innovation - any idea not covered under the main LEED areas

Each of these credit categories contains a series of suggested opportunities to earn the credit. The building project earns points when it properly uses and integrates these opportunities. The more points earned, the more sustainable the building is. Depending on the number of points received, the project can then earn certification on one of the following levels:

leed certification levels

Benefits of LEED Certification

First, let's remember that LEED Certification refers to buildings, whereas LEED Accreditation refers to people.

The benefits of LEED Certification include:

  • Reduced energy and water usage
  • Reduced maintenance and operation costs
  • Reduced construction waste during the building process
  • Reduced liability
  • Increased indoor air quality
  • Increased employee performance, satisfaction, and retention
  • Promotes usage of recycled material
  • Attracts companies, employees, and tenants who value sustainability

The LEED rating and certification system is the industry's gold-standard for environmentally sustainable building and is recognized industry-wide by architects, engineers, developers, and other building professionals. A LEED accreditation, such as LEED Green Associate, is a highly sought-after credential by professionals in environmental sustainability roles, as well as law, real estate and other areas.

At Everblue, we train you to become an accredited LEED professional!

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