LEED Reference guide for building design and construction

LEED is an abbreviation of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is basically a rating system which has been devised by the United States Green Building Council or USGBC. This rating is carried out to evaluate the environmental performance of the building and also encourage the market transformation in the process of a sustainable design requirement. The LEED system is basically a credit based wherein it allows the projects to earn points for any kind of environmentally actions being taken in the construction phase as well as the use of the building.


The LEED system was launched in an effort for developing a consensus based as well as market driven rating system which would lead to hasten the implementation and the development of the practices of green building. This particular system is not structured rigidly wherein it is not necessary that every project has to meet the identical requirements for qualifying. There are multiple LEED products being made available and those are for new construction and major renovations, for core and shell, for retail, for homes, for existing buildings such as operations and its maintenance, for schools, for commercial healthcare.

LEED has grown from one standard for new form of constructions to the comprehensive system which covers various aspects ranging from designs, construction to the maintenance as well as the operations of the buildings.

System of Rating –

LEED is known to be evolved from the year 1998 to very accurately represent as well as incorporate the emerging green building technologies. Its pilot version named as LEED New Construction v1 had led to other versions as well in the year 2005 and 2009. The latest LEED v4 was introduced in the year 2013. Until October 31st 2016 if there are any new projects then they would have to choose between LEED 2009 and the LEED v4 which is the latest version however any new projects which have been registered after October 31st 2016 must compulsorily go in for LEED v4. LEED is known to include around ten rating system starting from the design, construction and operations of homes, buildings or neighborhoods. Few of the predominant categories are said to correspond to the specialties which are available under these professional LEED programs. Currently that suit consists of:

  • Green Building Design and Construction – consists of LEED for New construction, schools, core and shell, healthcare and retail which would include new construction as well as major renovations to be carried out.
  • Green Interior Design and Construction:  consists of LEED for retails and for commercial interiors.
  • Green Building Operations and Maintenance: consists of LEED for all existing buildings for their operations and maintenance work.
  • Green Neighborhoods Development: LEED for development of neighborhoods.
  • Green Home Design and Construction: consists of LEED for homes

Buildings are known to be qualified at four different levels of certification and they are:

  • Certified with 40 to 90 points
  • Silver with 50 to 59 points
  • Gold with 60 to 79 points
  • Platinum with 80 points and above

The Leed Reference Guide for Building Design and Construction is a good reference guide or a book for those who are very much interested in the field of architecture which involves construction, designing buildings. This reference guide is being used by students for their LEED construction management course for completing the certification. The chapters in this book have a similar layout hence it becomes easy to find information. This reference book or handbook is said to provide thousands of students as well as professionals with a lot of invaluable assistance to understand the concept of green construction as well as sustainability. This reference book has also provided an understanding on the importance of being certified such as being an LEED apart from helping as well as explaining to the property owners and the corporates on how to achieve this certification for their proposed new construction of the green building premises. The green building professionals and sustainability is gained a lot of incredible drive and had a insightful influence on the environment as a whole. This reference guide is known to provide a strong foundation for studying the LEED certification related building design as well as construction. This book has detailed explanation on most of the important aspects of such design and sustainability. It also provides all the various kinds of latest strategies for the implementation thereby broadening the knowledge of the readers in terms of sustainability as well as green building. This reference guide is known to take into account most of the changes which have taken place in this industry for over the past few decades.

This book further talks about the importance of the concept of green building which if applied correctly would mean a lot of improvement in the design as well as construction related practices so that the buildings which are built tend to lasts for longer duration, would need less cost for operations and would also help in facilitating increase in productivity. At the same time, it would also mean that it helps in protecting the natural resources in the environment so that we use resources efficiently and the people, ecosystem, enterprises all live a healthy life ahead.

Benefits of LEED –

The buildings which have been certified with LEED is known to use resources very wisely and efficiently as compared to the conventional buildings which have been simply built to the code. When there is an LEED rating pursued there is a certain rise in the cost of the initial design as well as the construction of the building. There can be lack of proper availability of the manufactured building components which are known to meet the specifications of LEED. When it comes to pursuing certification for any project then it would mean USGBC correspond. LEED should be considered as a design tool rather than a performance measuring too. However, it is not yet specific to climate but the new version of LEED hopes to address this weakness which was previously not addressed. The LEED buildings which have been certified are known to penetrate small as well as mid major markets.