LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building rating system that has originated in the US and spread around the globe. LEED is the most widely used program for green rating systems in the world accounting for 175 000 meters squared of construction space certification every day. LEED aims to benefit a triple bottom line through its rating system, benefiting people, the planet and profits.
The core issue that LEED aims to address is the consumption of natural resources, specifically Water consumption, electricity consumption and the emission of carbon dioxide gas from the built human environment. This is a major issue facing our developing world as we start to see the effects of climate change on the earth. In the US, buildings account for 38% of all CO2 emissions, consume 13.6% of all portable water and consume 73% of all electricity consumption. LEED has identified these statistics as representing a large issue that we face and aim to reduce the impacts that the built environment has on the wider world.
The projects LEED is involved with are responsible for diverting over 80 million tons of land fill waste since they were established. Compared to the average commercial building, the LEED Gold rank of buildings consume 25% less energy and generate 35% less CO2 emissions.
The LEED Initiative is funded by the US Green Building Council and is spread across over 150 countries and territories. They have been involved with over 72000 projects covering over 1.3 Billion meters squared. LEED collaborates with environmental scientists, construction and built environment professionals from around the globe making it a highly multidisciplinary initiative.
Since LEED started in 1994 it has broadened its scope of projects moving from just commercial buildings rating to interior design, construction, building operations, maintenance, neighbourhood development and personal homes. With these expanded projects came multiple certificates of approval from the LEED rating system. Specific certifications for each type of building ranged from certified, to silver, gold and then Platinum depending on the points earned by the building on the rating system which measured the power consumption, water consumption and CO2 emissions as well as any features of the building that gave back to the environment such as solar generators, gardens and water recycling systems.
U.S. Green Building Council, 2016, This is LEED, USA, Last viewed 20/3/16, <http://leed.usgbc.org/leed.html>
U.S. Green Building Council, 2016, Better Buildings are our Legacy, USA, Last viewed 20/3/2016, <http://www.usgbc.org/leed>
Wikipedia, 2016, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Last viewed 20/3/16, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership_in_Energy_and_Environmental_Design>