LEED | U.S. Green Building Council
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Better Buildings are our Legacy

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is changing the way we think about how buildings and communities are planned, constructed, maintained and operated. Leaders around the world have made LEED the most widely used third-party verification for green buildings, with around 1.85 million square feet being certified daily.

LEED works for all buildings—from homes to corporate headquarters—at all phases of development. Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points across several areas that address sustainability issues. Based on the number of points achieved, a project then receives one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient. They use less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As an added bonus, they save money. Learn more about why LEED continues to be the leading benchmark in green building.

LEED v4 is bolder and more specialized for building projects worldwide.

The newest version of LEED is designed to be more flexible and improve the overall user experience. Here's why LEED v4 is better:


Focuses on materials to get a better understanding of what's in them and the effect those components have on human health and the environment


Takes a more performance-based approach to indoor environmental quality to ensure improved occupant comfort

Smart grid

Brings the benefits of smart grid thinking to the forefront with a credit that rewards projects for participating in demand response programs

Water efficiency

Provides a clearer picture of water efficiency by evaluating total building water use

Learn more about LEED v4

All buildings in. LEED is flexible enough to apply to all project types.

LEED was developed to address all buildings everywhere, regardless of where they are in their life cycle. From hospitals to data centers, from historical buildings to those still in the design phase, there is a LEED for every building. Select a project type below to learn more.

Building Design + Construction

Applies to buildings that are being newly constructed or going through a major renovation; includes New Construction, Core & Shell, Schools, Retail, Hospitality, Data Centers, Warehouses & Distribution Centers, and Healthcare. Learn more

Interior Design + Construction

Applies to projects that are a complete interior fit-out; includes Commercial Interiors, Retail and Hospitality. Learn more

Building Operations + Maintenance

Applies to existing buildings that are undergoing improvement work or little to no construction; includes Existing Buildings, Schools, Retail, Hospitality, Data Centers, and Warehouses & Distribution Centers. Learn more

Neighborhood Development

Applies to new land development projects or redevelopment projects containing residential uses, nonresidential uses, or a mix. Projects can be at any stage of the development process, from conceptual planning to construction; includes Plan and Built Project. Learn more


Applies to single family homes, low-rise multi-family (one to three stories), or mid-rise multi-family (four to six stories); includes Homes and Multifamily Lowrise and Multifamily Midrise. Learn more

Certification options

LEED offers several options structured for companies and organizations seeking certification for multiple buildings.

Volume certification is designed for LEED users looking to certify an entire portfolio of building projects. It streamlines the process by focusing on the similarities in design, operations and delivery.

LEED campus and multiple building certification is available for several buildings on a single site and offers a number of options to help project owners determine the best way to reach their goals.

Options for federal agencies also have been established to support projects as they meet the requirements of the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance in Sustainable Building.

LEED is pushing the green building industry further.

The LEED certification process is designed to inspire project teams to seek innovative solutions that are better for our environment and better for our communities.

Here's how to get started.

Select a rating system for your project, and learn basic program requirements

Each LEED rating system groups requirements that address the unique needs of different building and project types.

  • For LEED v4: Discover LEED to determine which rating system is the best fit and then follow up by reading the Selection Guidance to make sure you've made the right choice.
  • For LEED 2009: Use our other Selection Guidance to choose between the available LEED 2009 rating systems.

Make sure to check out the Minimum Program Requirements to know if your project is eligible for LEED certification.

Review our series of LEED certification guides

We strive to make the LEED customer experience the best it can be. Our Certification Guides lead projects through the LEED process under each rating system, starting from registration to certification.

Decide which credits your project should pursue

Prerequisites are the green building standards every project must meet. Credits allow project teams to customize how they pursue certification. By fulfilling credits, projects earn points that determine its certification level: Certified (40-49 points), Silver (50-59 points), Gold (60-79 points) and Platinum (80+).

Equip your project with the right tools

We have developed a set of LEED Reference Guides for each rating system to help project teams understand each credit and prerequisite. We also have built a comprehensive online toolkit, which includes key supplemental material for LEED projects like addenda and sample forms.

Now you're ready to begin:

Browse other LEED-certified projects Stay informed about LEED

Fees and deadlines

There's a flat registration fee and a certification fee, which is based on a project's size and the rating system the project was registered under. Registration fees are due at a project's registration; certification fees are due when an application is submitted for review.

View detailed fee tables

At any given point, LEED rating systems are either open for registration and certification; closed for registration, but open for certification; or closed for registration and certification (sunset).

View the deadlines table