The LEED Green Building Rating System is a program developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), a nonprofit organization of architects, construction companies, product manufacturers, engineers, consultants and many others. It is a voluntary, consensus-based, market-driven building rating system based on existing techniques and materials. The rating system uses accepted energy and environmental principles to evaluate the whole building. The LEED rating system focuses on an integrated approach in the evaluation of an entire project.The heart of LEED is the checklist of credits to determine the available points toward certification. The list has every prerequisite and credit, describing the intent, the requirements, and some sample technologies or strategies for achieving the credit. The five categories are sustainable sites; water efficiency; energy and atmosphere; materials and resources; and indoor environmental quality.
Up to 69 credits can be earned in these categories. Projects can receive one of four different ratings depending on the number of credits earned. Ratings are LEED Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
For more information about LEED, please visit the USGBC website.