U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit composed of leaders from across the building industry working to advance buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.
Since its founding in 1993, USGBC has been focused on fulfilling the building and construction industry’s vision for its own transformation to high-performance green building. Today, it includes 10,688 member companies and organizations.
Industry-led and consensus-driven, the Council is as diverse as the marketplace it serves. Membership includes building owners and end-users, real estate developers, facility managers, architects, designers, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, product and building system manufacturers, government agencies, and nonprofits.
Leaders from within each of these sectors participate in the development of the LEED Rating Systems and the direction of the Council through volunteer service on USGBC’s open committees.
LEED® Green Building Rating System™
LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based national rating system for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. USGBC's members, representing every sector of the building industry, developed and continue to refine LEED.
LEED addresses all building types including
- new construction
- commercial interiors
- core & shell
- operations & maintenanc
- specific applications such as retail, multiple buildings/campuses, schools, healthcare, laboratories and lodging.
Based on well-founded scientific standards, LEED emphasizes state of the art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. LEED promotes expertise in green building through a comprehensive system offering project certification, professional accreditation, training and practical resources.
LEED Certification Benefits
LEED certified buildings have lower operating costs, higher lease rates, and happier and healthier occupants than conventionally constructed structures. Certification under LEED is third party validation to the market that a building is green.
They cost less to operate and maintain, are energy- and water-efficient, have higher lease-up rates than conventional buildings in their markets, and are a physical demonstration of the values of the organizations that own and occupy them.
How are credit points awarded under LEED?
Credits are awarded based on five categories of performance:
- Sustainable Sites
- Water Efficiency
- Energy and Atmosphere
- Materials and Resources
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Innovation & Design Process
Within each of these credit areas a project can earn a certain amount of points. Projects can earn additional points under an Innovation in Design category, through demonstrating exceptional performance above LEED requirements. The number of points the project earns determines the level of LEED Certification the project receives.