LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) is an environmentally oriented construction standard developed by the US Green Building Council. The standard is actually more of a rating system that awards points to the builder for taking various environmentally friendly approaches in their construction process. Builders are awarded points for meeting or exceeding benchmarks set by the USGBC in the following eight categories: innovation and design; location and linkages to the larger community; sustainable sites; water conservation; energy efficiency; material and resources; indoor air quality; and consumer education.
Originally developed in 1994 by Robert K. Wetson, LEED has quickly grown in both acceptance and recognition. Over 14,000 projects in the United States and in 66 other countries follow the LEED standard. LEED could now be applied to all forms of contraction from commercial to residential. Embracing the LEED standard is not only beneficial to developers, but to the customers and to the communities in which the developments are taking place as well. Commercial buildings that follow the LEED standard present a lower health risk to people that would be working in them by lowering their exposure to harmful chemical that are found in common construction supplies such as paint and insulation. Homebuilders that follow LEED, develop homes that use less energy and are built using natural and non toxic materials. Communities benefit from working with LEED compliant builders because of lower the level of waste and pollution that would be caused as the result of the construction process.
The level of certification that’s awarded to the builder depends on the builder’s level of commitment to building environmentally conscious construction projects. There are currently five certification level that could be achieved by a builder: the Certified Level, which is awarded to a builder whose construction project earns between 26 – 32 points, the Silver...
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