What is a LEED-certified building?

 “LEED” stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The certification system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, validates that structures are designed to minimize emissions, energy and water use, and improve environmental quality. LEED-certified buildings are constructed to stringent sustainable design standards.

How does a building receive LEED certification?

When projects are in development, developers apply for LEED certification. A third party evaluates buildings on five dimensions: sustainability of the site, water efficiency, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and energy and atmosphere. Depending on the number of points earned, a LEED-certified building receives one of four certifications: Platinum, Gold, Silver or Certified.

What characteristics distinguish a LEED-certified building?

A LEED-certified building may look like other buildings, but there are significant differences. A LEED-certified building may have solar panels on its roof and a bike rack out front. It may use highly efficient LEDs for lighting. Some of the attributes that distinguish a LEED-certified building may not be visible, such as highly efficient heating and cooling systems, extra layers of insulation and water-saving fixtures.

Why are LEED-certified buildings preferred?

As more companies focus on sustainability, they seek to ensure that their facilities, and all aspects of their operations, meet prevailing sustainable design standards. In addition, a LEED-certified warehouse often uses less energy than a typical warehouse, which makes it more economical to operate. Because LEED buildings incorporate more effective climate control and natural light than standard architecture, employees frequently regard LEED-certified buildings as more comfortable places to work.