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LEED: A Simple List of Options and How it Works

By Loretta White
August 17, 2009
File under: Green Building Design, LEED Certification


I have gotten some feedback regarding the last LEED Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design article I wrote on certain certified projects and I decided to break down the different forms of the systems and how the numbers apply.

This system is an internationally recognized volunteer certification process that offers concise, measurable, and repeatable framework for identifying, implementing and maintaining practical green building design, construction, site development operations, material and resource selection, and maintenance solutions and procedures that measure; energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental air quality, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

The best way to start with a project is to hook up with the elite in the industry for LEED certification by contacting LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) or going to The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) where the LEED AP program is taught. They also administer LEED certification for all commercial and institutional projects registered under any LEED Rating System.

First of all, there are variations based on the kind of project; (there is an expanded detail for all below)

New Construction (LEED NC versions; 1.0, 2.0, 2.1, and 2.2)
Major renovations Pilot
New Construction Neighborhood Development
LEED for Multiple Buildings

Existing Buildings (LEED EB versions; 1.0 and 2.0)
Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED EB O&M)
Commercial Interiors (LEED CI versions; 1.0 and 2.0) – interior designers, owners and tenants
Core & Shell (LEED CS versions; 1.0 and 2.0) – base buildings and shells
Build GREEN Schools Council
Retail – Pilot program
Major renovations Retail v3
Healthcare Facilities
you can also see the green guide for health care
Homes v3

Neighborhood Development Pilot
Recertification – Can be any category above

WOW, that was a mouthful. It is complicated and amidst many changes and challenges. The breakdown definitions and additional links to data;

LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations
Are parameters designed for high-performance commercial and institutional projects. There are multiple versions that are updated when new information is gained or when tax credit legislation is altered. Most LEED versions are now v3 which the U.S. Green Building Council or USGBC launched April 27, 2009. The ability to be flexible allows LEED to evolve, taking advantage of new technologies and advancements in building science while prioritizing energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reductions

The most current version is v3

Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance
LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance provides a benchmark for building owners and operators to measure operations, improvements and maintenance.

The most current version is v3

Commercial Interiors, a green standard system certifies interiors are green, have a reduced footprint, healthy, productive places to work; reduce cost to operate, reduce waste and add inherent property value encouraging designers, owners and tenants to make sustainable choices.

The most current version is v3

Core & Shell
LEED for Core & Shell, complements LEED for Commercial Interiors aiding designers, builders and developers to implement elements that are sustainable for basics structures, shells, site, waste and water management, RRR, HVAC systems and more

LEED for Schools designed specifically for the unique nature of K-12 schools design l

LEED for Retail addresses the specific needs of retail spaces, the unique nature of retail

LEED for Healthcare has unique issues and problems, so, this promotes sustainable design and construction for high-performance, hi-tech healthcare facilities.

LEED for Homes promotes design and construction for high-performance green homes.
Neighborhood Development

Neighborhood Development
LEED for Neighborhood Development integrates principles of smart urban planning, growth, and green building practices for neighborhood design.

All of this is designed for this end result:
or qualify for
tax rebates
zoning allowances
State, Federal and commercial incentives
Demonstrate a commitment to environmental stewardship and our social responsibility
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Lower operating costs
Have healthier occupants
Increased asset value.
Reduce waste
Conserve energy
Conserve water.
Increase safety issues

You can read the full policy manual if you like.

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