So, HOW DOES LEED WORK?
LEED is simply a point system, or a scorecard. The more energy efficient and “green” the building is, the more points it will earn. These points are earned through meeting credit requirements in LEED and there are 6 Categories in which to earn credits.
1. Sustainable Sites (SS)
Site Selection is the first step and arguably the most important part of the green building process. Its simple, the potential environmental effects of the project, depends on where you plan to build it. LEED awards the location you’ve chosen based on items ranging from proximity to PUBLIC Transit to bike storage and showers.
2. Water Efficiency (WE)
Water, like any other resource is finite. As the global population increases, so does the demand for water to be used in human and industrial processes. LEED awards the reduction of water used in toilets as well as the Re-use of GREY WATER.
3. Energy and Atmosphere (EA)
Most credits in ALL LEED categories are aimed to indirectly reduce the need for electricity. EA is the one category whose purpose is to directly reduce energy demand. The LEED rating system rewards buildings for reducing their energy demand, increasing their energy efficiency, monitoring energy use as well as investing in Renewable energy sources.
4. Materials and Resources (MR)
MR deals with two items, reducing WASTE which is sent to landfills and Reducing the environmental impact of a building’s materials. LEED looks at how Materials are: Selected, Disposed and Reduced. Points are awarded for materials reuse, recyclying, renewable materials and maintaining a building already on the proposed site.
5. Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
IEQ is a large section in LEED and addresses the environment INSIDE a building and how it affects the occupants inside. IEQ awards points for lighting, temperature, ventilation, indoor pollution and the amount of Daylight
6. Innovation in Design (ID)
This section of LEED awards points for inventive, sustainable and green building strategies which are beyond the scope of the LEED Rating System and not properly rewarded. There is a maximum of 6 points and having a LEED AP on the project is worth 1 POINT!