From Dean Dowd on January 03, 2008 in Green Remodeling
LEED certification is the recognized standard to show that building design and performance is green. LEED certification is recognized nationally and in various locations around the world. The rating system is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit coalition, and certification tests are conducted by commissioned third parties on new and existing buildings. But what types of certification are there, and how does a building qualify for them? LEED certification is based on points earned in six potential categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design. Depending on the number of points earned in each category, LEED certification can be awarded as Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. According to version 2.2 of the LEED rating system, energy and atmosphere can earn the most number of points at 17. Indoor air quality is not far behind at 15 maximum points, while sustainable sites and materials and resources can earn a close 14 and 13, respectively. Up to five points can be earned in both water efficiency and LEED innovation credit categories. Here are the certification awards based on number of points earned:
- Certified: 26-32 points, more than 37% of maximum credits
- Silver: 33-38 points, more than 47% of maximum credits
- Gold: 39-51 points, more than 56% of maximum credits
- Platinum: 52-69 points, more than 75% of maximum credits
Buildings must qualify for the certification process by earning 7 prerequisite points. LEED certification covers new commercial construction, major renovation projects, interiors projects, existing building operations, new home construction, and neighborhood developments.