Leed Building Certification

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system was developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).  This committee included professionals from the areas of architecture, engineering, real estate, environment, and law who worked together to create a benchmark for green building.  The first version of the LEED rating system (LEED 1.0) was developed in 1998.  An improved version, LEED 2.0, was launched in 2000 and this new standard is responsible for the success of LEED as the predominant building assessment tool used in the U.S.  The USGBC has continued to update LEED and has recently introduced LEED Version 3.  The application of technology in construction and design of a building are important elements in LEED requirements. 

LEED Buildings

LEED rating systems vary based on the kind of building.  Building types include new constructions as well as existing buildings, commercial interior projects, homes, and neighborhood developments.

LEED Categories

LEED is a building assessment system that evaluates how environmentally friendly and sustainable a building is.  Points are awarded for each category and certification levels are granted based on overall point totals.  Certification is evaluated on these categories:  sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process.  In the most recent version of LEED bonus points are also awarded for certain items within these categories that have been given regional priority by local USGBC chapters. 

Poster from Exhibit Case: Floorplan of first and second floor or Searle with green features highlighted

The Environments Group

Water Efficiency: at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago the "Smart Home: Green and Wired" exhibit details water efficient features

Photo by Cheryl Rusnak

Indoor Environmental Quality: Searle Chemistry Laboratory motion lighting sensors

5735 S. Ellis Avenue.  Photo by Cheryl Rusnak.