LEED is leading the building industry towards a greener future. A clever acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the LEED Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based, national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit organization, developed the LEED Rating System in the late 1990s, and it has quickly grown to be the most recognized green building assessment tool in the United States. While there are over 20,000 LEED Accredited Professionals nationwide, only a small percent have worked closely on a LEED project. For this reason, the inner-workings of LEED remain somewhat mysterious.
This paper seeks to demystify the LEED process by outlining it in a systematic approach. The information herein will serve as a good tool and reference for individuals who are, or intend to, work on a project pursuing LEED in the near future.