What is a LEED-certified building?

LEED-certified buildings play an important role in sustainability. “LEED” stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The certification system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, verifies that structures are constructed and operated in such a way that they reduce emissions, energy and water use, and improve environmental quality. LEED-certified buildings are constructed to strict standards.

How does a building get LEED certification?

When projects are in development, the owners 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. Additionally, 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 as a value, they seek to ensure that their facilities, and all aspects of operations, meet high standards. In addition, a LEED-certified building often uses less energy than a typical warehouse, which makes it more economically efficient to operate. Because these structures incorporate more effective climate control and natural light than standard architecture, employees frequently regard LEED-certified buildings as more pleasant places to work.