Anyone who has been involved with the construction and housing industries has heard the terms “LEED” and “LEED points” over and over again. While some people may have gotten to know what it’s all about, some still remain unaware. “LEED” means Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a rating system that was devised to be used in grading buildings in accordance with how environmentally friendly they are. It applies to both residential and commercial buildings and is awarded by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
How LEED Is Scored
There are four types of LEED certification: Certified (40-49 points), Silver (50-59 points), Gold (60-79 points), and Platinum (80+ points), all on a 125-point scale. Points are awarded based on certain required elements that must be present in the structure, as well as green building strategies that are implemented to minimize the adverse effect of the construction on the environment. Certain elements are categorized as prerequisites, meaning that they must be present for any structure to be certified at all. Others are categorized as credits, meaning that they are optional, but would add to the overall grade assigned to the project.
Why LEED Points Matter
The first and most obvious reason LEED points ought to be an important consideration is that by adhering to the standards, builders help to reduce the stress on the planet and make the world a better place.
If one is not really swayed by the environmental impact argument, then there are more practical benefits of adhering to the LEED standards. Since quite a number of the standards have to do with energy usage, adhering to them will help to cut down the amount of energy used in the building, thus resulting in cost savings.