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WHAT IS LEED?

Posted By Jill Fehrenbacher On May 3, 2005 @ 9:29 pm In New York City,Sustainable Building | 5 Comments

grancrete [1]
With all the greenwashing [2] going on today, wouldn’t it be nice to have definitive “green” standards in architecture – a way to tell exactly which buildings are environmentally sustainable, and which architects practice sustainable design? There is an industry wide system to just this called “LEED [3]” which was developed around the year 2000.

LEED [3] is an acronym for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council [4] (USGBC), LEED is an effort to define a national standard for what consistitutes “green building.”

LEED is a voluntary certification that may be sought by building owners for new or existing commercial, institutional, or high-rise-residential buildings. LEED accredidation is currently being developed for housing and neighborhood development, as well. Different elements of a building’s design, construction and materials earn credits towards a possible total of 69 credits. There are 4 levels of LEED certification based on the amount of credits a building earns:

Platinum – 52 – 69 points
Gold – 39 – 51 points
Silver – 33 – 38 points
Bronze – at least 26 points

The categories and criteria are extensive. The USGBC has all the information you would ever want to read about LEED on its website [3]. It also has a list of LEED certified buildings [5]. Unless I am misunderstanding this, it appears that Seattle has 13 LEED certified buildings, while NYC only has one. Come on New Yorkers, get on the ball!


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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2005/05/03/what-is-leed/grancrete/

[2] greenwashing: http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=3648

[3] LEED: http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19

[4] U.S. Green Building Council: http://www.usgbc.org/

[5] list of LEED certified buildings: http://www.usgbc.org/LEED/Project/project_list.asp?CMSPageID=247&CategoryID=19&

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