Leed Rating System for GreenBuildingsCourse No: M06-015Credit: 6 PDHA. BhatiaContinuing Education and Development, Inc.9 Greyridge Farm CourtStony Point, NY 10980P: (877) 322-5800F: (877) [email protected]

LEEDTM RATING SYSTEM FOR GREEN BUILDINGSBuilding sector is witnessing a significant shift toward greening and sustainability. To reduceresource dependency and carbon footprint many organizations today are interested in designingtheir buildings to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified; adesignation developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).Why Design Green?1. Buildings in the U.S. consume more than 30% of total energy and 60% of electricityannually.2. Buildings consume 5 billion gallons of potable water per day to flush toilets.3. A typical North American commercial construction project generates 2.5 pounds of solidwaste per square foot of floor space.4. Studies of workers in green buildings reported productivity gains of up to 16%.5. About ¼ of the increase in carbon dioxide is due to the building sector, Energy efficiencymay reduce this by 50%.6. Buildings consume 40% of raw stone, gravel and sand, and 25% of virgin wood.7. Building related sickness may cost between 60 and 400 billion per year.8. People spend as much as 90% of their time indoors.The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating Systemencourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and developmentpractices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted toolsand performance criteria. LEED-based green design not only makes a positive impact on publichealth and the environment, it also reduces operating costs, enhances building andorganizational marketability, potentially increases occupant productivity, and helps create asustainable community. The LEED Rating System typically recognizes performance in six keyareas of human and environmental health: SitesWater EfficiencyEnergy & AtmosphereMaterials and ResourcesIndoor Environmental QualityInnovation & Design ProcessFactoids by LEED CategorySustainable Sites Vehicles are responsible for approximately 20% of U.S. greenhouse gases annually.Water Efficiency 340 billion gallons of fresh water are withdrawn per day from rivers, streams, andreservoirs to support residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and recreationalactivities. Almost 65% of water taken is discharged back to bodies of water after use.

Annual water deficiency for the US is 3,700 billion gallons. US industries today use 36% less water than in 1950 due to reuse and Energy PolicyAct of 1992 mandating water conserving plumbing. Water consumption rose 6 fold in the last century – double the rate of population.Energy & Atmosphere Coal-fired electric utilities produce almost 1/3 the total emission of nitrogen oxide by UScitizens. Fundamental commissioning can increase building energy efficiency from 5-10%. Buildings with measurement and verification programs save 10 to 20% the electricity ofbuildings without. “Lost Productivity” is equated with 20% of occupants complaining 30 minutes per month. Occupancy sensors may save up to 60% of light energy costs in a building.Materials & Resources 4% of US old growth forest remains. 20% of the world’s large ancient forests remain intact. 90% of residential construction is wood. 40% of the waste stream is due to construction and demolition. Recycling an aluminum can uses 5% of the energy needed to create a new can out ofvirgin mined aluminum.Indoor Environmental Quality A well-designed day-lit building is estimated to reduce energy use by 50% to 80%.LEED certificationLEED certification is obtained after submitting an application documenting compliance with therequirements of the rating system as well as paying registration and certification fees.Certification is granted solely by the Green Building Council responsible for issuing the LEEDsystem used on the project. Fortunately, LEED is a very user-friendly system. In fact, a majorcontributor to the success of LEED is the simplicity of its credit/point-based the rating system.For each credit, the LEED standard identifies the detailed intent, requirements, andtechnologies or strategies to achieve the credit. One or more points are available within eachcredit, and points are achieved by meeting specified requirements.Different LEED versions have varied scoring systems based on a set of required "prerequisites"and a variety of "credits" in the six major categories listed above. In LEED version 2.2 (v2.2) fornew construction and major renovations for commercial buildings there are 69 possible pointsand buildings can qualify for four levels of certification:1. Certified – 26 to 32 points2. Silver – 33 to 38 points3. Gold – 39 to 51 points4. Platinum – 52 to 69 points

Clearly, higher levels of distinction are achieved based on the points accrued.Green building professionals can also become LEED accredited professional (LEED AP)through the LEED Accredited Professional Exam. LEED AP certification draws people from allwalks of life and there is no prerequisite qualification required to challenge the exam. Howeverdon't make the mistake of assuming the LEED AP is a casual credential; it requires an in-depthof understanding of the prescribed material. Underestimating the level of knowledge required isthe number one reason the test has such a high failure rate (20% - 35% first time pass rate).This course provides knowledge of LEED Rating System in easy Q & A format. The courseincludes seven sections covering a basic overview and the description of six LEED categories.This document is a constant work in progress and if you see something that should be in thislist, please let us know.

SECTION – 1OVERVIEWLEED is a national standard developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC)to certify sustainable buildings. Since its inception in 1998, LEED has grown to encompass over14,000 projects in 50 US States and 30 countries covering 1.062 billion square feet (99 km²) ofdevelopment area. The hallmark of LEED is that it is an open and transparent process wherethe technical criteria proposed by the LEED committees are publicly reviewed for approval bythe more than 10,000 membership organizations that currently constitute the USGBC.No. QuestionsAnswers1What does LEED standfor?Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.2What is LEEDcertification?LEED certification is a credit-based rating system, withdifferent levels of certification awarded for various tiers ofcredits earned. Each credit is intended to address a specificenvironmental impact of a building. Certification is grantedsolely by the Green Building Council responsible for issuingthe LEED system used on the project.3Why LEED certification?LEED rating demonstrates a commitment to sustainability bymeeting the highest performance standards. LEED certifiedbuildings have following benefits: 4What are the variousLEED programs?Use key resources more efficiently.Contribute to healthier work environment, higherproductivity and comfort.Enhances asset value over time.Encourage innovation of new technologies, products,materials and equipment.Establish national leadership in the building industryand marketplace.Validate achievement through third party reviewprocess.Qualify for growing array of state and localgovernment incentives.Contribute to growing green building knowledge base.LEED Rating ProgramsThe USGBC operates 10 LEED Green Building RatingPrograms for specific project types: LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC)LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB)LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI)LEED for Core & Shell (LEED-CS)LEED for SchoolsLEED for Retail-New Construction

LEED for Retail and Commercial InteriorsLEED for HealthcareLEED for HomesLEED for Neighborhood DevelopmentLEED-NC (for New Construction) v2.2 is the most widelyused standard.5What are the variouscategories to whichLEED credits areassigned?LEED rating system awards points in six (6) categories.LEED CategoriesPointsContribution1. SS – Sustainable Sites:2. WE - Water Efficiency:3. EA - Energy andAtmosphere:4. MR - Materials andResources:5. EQ - IndoorEnvironmental Quality:6. ID – Innovation andDesign Process:Total1451720%7%25%1319%152257%69100%There are 69 total LEED points.Energy and Atmosphere category is the largest contribution of25%. The project team can select which credits are mostrelevant to their project, since not all credits are alwaysattainable for all projects.6What is defined in eachcategory?Depending on the nature and use of the building, each ratingcategory has prerequisites and credits. There are NO pointsawarded for prerequisites but these must be completed. Toprerequisites there are numerous credits with points assignedto each. Arrange prerequisites and points in ascending orderand learn word “WIMSEE” to remember LEED requirements:CategoriesWaterEfficiencyInnovation andDesignProcessMaterials lityEnergy I052M1137S1148EQ2158EA3176

7What is the pointstructure for LEED-NCratings?The level of LEED certification obtained is determined by thenumber of credits achieved.Four LEED certification levels are available:1)2)3)4)Certified :Silver :GoldPlatinum26 – 32 points33 – 38 points39 – 51 points52 – 69 pointsNote that each rating program is unique in the number ofpoints required to achieve the levels. For example, LEED forNew Construction or LEED-NC requires 26 points forCertified, 33 points for Silver, 39 points for Gold, and 52points for platinum. A brief overview of the categories andexamples of how credits are achieved (LEED-NC) is providedin subsequent sections. Consult the LEED rating programs(www. for specific details about each availablecredit including possible methods to achieve the points.8What is the minimumcredit rating required forLEED-NC certification?The project is a viable candidate for LEED Certification if itcan meet all prerequisites and achieve a minimum of 26points.9What must first besatisfied to achievepoints in mostcategories?Prerequisites.Can a project be certifiedwithout satisfying allprerequisites?NO.What is included in thepre-requisites?Each prerequisite defines:10111213What should you knowabout Pre-requisites?What is included in theCredits?Prerequisites are applicable to most categories, but not all(for example “Water Efficiency” and “Innovation and DesignProcess”).All prerequisites must be satisfied for a project to be certified. IntentRequirementsDocumentationReferenced StandardsDesign or Construction Phase Submission There are 7 prerequisites which are not evenlydistributed among the (6) categories. ALLprerequisites must be earned in order to earn anycredits. Even if you score well over the number ofcredits required, just missing one prerequisite willmean that your project will not qualify for anycertification level. There are NO points awarded for prerequisitesEach credit/point defines: IntentRequirements

14What should you knowabout Credits?DocumentationReferenced StandardsDesignorConstructionPerformance level if anyPhaseAbsolutely know all the percentages andperformance required for each LEED credit.ExemplarylevelsofAlso note that while EA credit 1 (energy optimization) is not apre-requisite, it is mandatory to earn at least two points.Whether LEEDcertification achievedthrough self evaluation?NO16How many user-definedinnovative design creditsare available?4 points17LEED for NewConstruction (NC) wasdeveloped as a ratingsystem targeted at whattypes of projects?New commercial construction and major renovations.18LEED for CommercialInteriors (CI) wasdeveloped as a ratingsystem targeted at whattypes of projects?Tenant and designer implemented improvements.19LEED for ExistingBuildings (EB) wasdeveloped as a ratingsystem targeted at whattypes of projects?The implementation of sustainable operations andmaintenance practices for owners and operators of existingbuildings.20Who grants the LEEDcertification?Certification is granted solely by the Green Building Councilresponsible for issuing the LEED system used on the project.21What is LEEDcertification process?The typical certification is a three-step process for projectsunder USGBC:15Third-party review for certification is required. 22What is the first stepProject RegistrationLEED on-line, LEED templates/project check list,submittals etc.Technical Review & SupportReference package, credit inquires and interpretationrulings.Building Certification AwardUpon documentation submittal and USGBC review.The first step toward earning LEED Certification is online

towards LEEDcertification?registration via USGBC website (prior to construction).Once registered, project teams receive information, tools, andcommunication that will help guide through the certificationprocess. Registration provides access to 4 sections of CreditTemplates: 2324How much fee isapplicable towardsregistration?When should youregister?Template statusManage templateRequired documentsDocumentation statusLEED registration is a flat fee paid up front at the time ofregistration. The rates are: Members 450.00Non-Members 600.00Registration during early phases of project designensures maximum potential for achieving certification.Registration establishes point of contact with USGBCand provides access to essential information, softwaretools and communications.Registration also provides access to a database ofexisting Credit Interpretation Requests and Rulings.25What feature of NC v2.2allows for split submittalof credits for review?Web-based LEED Online submittals.26What is the procedure forLEED certification?LEED certification is obtained after submitting an applicationdocumenting compliance with the requirements of the ratingsystem as well as paying registration and certification fee