What are the 4 levels of LEED certification

What is mean by LEED certification, and what are the 4 levels of LEED certification?

  • LEED certification is a process that recognizes and rewards environmentally friendly and sustainable final decisions during the construction process. It is a way for you and your customers to see those specific environmental goals is encounter during the design and construction of the structure or facility being certified.
  • A building project must earn a certain number of points and adhere to specific green building standards in order to receive LEED certification, which will verify later on it during the certification process.
  • A LEED-certified building may be eligible for specific state and local government incentives and help increase media interest in your project. The most recent certification process, which began in November 2015, was based on the LEED v4 system, updated regularly. Therefore, before beginning the certification process, check with the USGBC for the most recent revision of the system.

Above was some explanation about LEED certification. Now we will explain what are the 4 levels of LEED certification?

  • LEED-certified projects earn points for incorporating various green building strategies throughout their design process and across multiple categories. A project may receive one of the following level credentials base on the LEED Certification Levels points: Silver, gold, or platinum certification.
  • Certification efforts are the most basic in terms of sustainability and efficiency. In contrast, Platinum efforts go above and beyond the expectations of the US Green Building Council and the field of sustainable development. For example, building Design and Construction, Interior Design and Construction, Building Operations and Maintenance, Neighborhood Development, Homes, Cities and Communities, LEED Recertification, and LEED Zero earn points.
  • Your project must earn between 40 and 49 points in order to receive the Certification level. To advance to the next level, Silver needs 50 to 59 points. A leed gold certification points is one with a score of 60 to 79 points, and a leed platinum points is one with a score of 80 or higher.
  • Any level of LEED certification demonstrates exemplary leadership in sustainable building practices, regardless of which LEED level your company achieves. Additionally, as a US Green Building Council member, LEED certification provides benefits, and your company may be eligible for various tax credits.
  • The rating system encourages and rewards sustainable business design through various metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction, indoor air quality, and sustainable site location choices.

What are the 4 levels of LEED certification Minimum Requirements?

  • At a bare minimum, the LEED certification process must meet the following criteria:
  • Comply with all applicable environmental regulations and standards.
  • It is necessary to meet the minimum floor area requirements.
  • Maintain a minimum level of building occupancy in terms of the number of people who use it.
  • Keep a good site perimeter.
  • Be a long-term structure.
  • Data on energy and water usage must share. In addition, there must be a minimum ratio of building to site area.

LEED Certification Credit Categories

The project must meet specific criteria and goals within the following categories in order to earn credits for one of the above categories:

Location and transportation: 

You should consider the location of your project and how it can combine with local transportation options.

Materials and Resources

Earn credits by using environmentally friendly and sustainable products that reduce waste and improve indoor air quality.

Water management:

The building must design in such a way that potable water consumption is reduce or resources are reuse, reducing the amount of water require inside the structure.

Energy and atmosphere: 

The structure should improve energy efficiency while promoting excellent indoor air and environmental quality.

Environmentally sustainable sites:

Plan the project so that natural resources and ecosystems in the area can naturally participate in the design, reducing pollution. Increase daylight use and promote natural ventilation to improve indoor environmental quality.


Any idea that does not fit into one of the five LEED categories.

Priority credits for regions:

Addressing any specific concern based on a region’s or geographical location.

Additional credit categories for LEED for Neighborhood Development include smart location & linkage, neighborhood pattern & design, and green infrastructure & buildings.

Benefits of obtaining a LEED certification

1. Better Air Quality Indoors

LEED Certification buildings have higher indoor air quality than non-certification buildings. The buildings’ innovative green HVAC systems include antimicrobial and anti-allergy filters, which significantly improve indoor air quality.

2. Enhances well-being (Physical and Mental, both)

This has the potential to improve the overall health of those who live and work in the building. Even spaces that have beretrofit to meet LEED criteria shows better air quality and fewer illnesses due to pollution. One study emphasizes that workers’ mental performance improved by 25% in LEED-certified buildings.

3. Better Workforce

If it were not for their employees, companies would be nowhere!

Taking care of a company’s workforce is, therefore, a no-brainer. If you work in HR, make sure to pitch the idea of LEED certification to your bosses.

LEED certification for an office building meant fewer sick days and higher employee productivity. In addition, employee satisfaction is much higher in LEED-certified environments, resulting in a decrease in employee turnover (low employee turnover).

The new generation (especially Generation Z) is much more conscious of the importance of living a greener lifestyle and desires to work in a green environment.

As a result, LEED-certification office buildings may assist businesses in attracting top talent.

4. Improves Public Relations

Companies that construct buildings relying on LEED certification admire society. This aids in the improvement of these companies’ public relations, as well as their relationship with their customers. It also contributes to a positive impact on a company’s commitment to a more sustainable environment.

You might not realize it until now, but LEED has a bigger impact on your company’s public image than you think.

This also helps you stand out from the competition because customers will see how forward-thinking and futuristic your company is becoming.

5. Achieve your “green goals” faster than you ever probably think.

If your company is working to become more environmentally friendly, LEED offices can help you achieve your goals by being highly energy efficient and complementing your strategic plan to become more sustainable.

LEED certification buildings is build in such a way that they help to conserve water and electricity. This can be accomplishing by installing low-flow faucets and toilets with HDPE partitions, among other things.

6. Can save cash

You will save a lot of money if you reduce your utility costs through conservation. Some companies have gone so far as to claim that it can help offset the costs of leasing office space.

7. Tax Breaks and Refunds

LEED buildings are more likely to qualify for tax rebates and zoning permits than non-LEED buildings. In addition, because these structures primarily locate in special economic growth zones, you may be eligible to pay little to no local or state taxes.

Recycling and composting programmes in LEED buildings can help to reduce waste by putting it to good use. Waste removal costs are reducing as a result of this. You can even get money back from the sale of recycled materials.

To summarize, these structures are generally more environmentally friendly, and the faster we embrace LEED certification standards, the lower our carbon footprint is.

Benefits of LEED certification for the environment.

Tenants are keener in green businesses and buildings. They also have a 20% higher lease rate than the national average. As a result, green businesses are more popular and outperform their competitors.

The environmental impact of unsustainable use is one of the LEED ranking factors that businesses must consider. LEED certification examines the construction process rather than the building itself and the impact it may have on the environment.

LEED certification holds you accountable for ensuring that your company is environmentally friendly.

Disadvantages of LEED certification

1. Symbol of status (Cheating the system)

Many businesses overlook the true purpose of LEED certifications. Many businesses view LEED as a status symbol rather than a desire to go green for the environment’s sake.

They decide to go out and score points in any way they can. This is actually counter-intuitive to the original purpose of LEED certification.

This mentality of ‘cheating the system’ stems from LEED’s unweighting point system.

With an unweighting system, you can earn a point for doing something as simple as building a bike rack. However, none of your employees ride their bikes to work, giving the impression that you are promoting alternative modes of transportation. In reality, you are earning a point toward LEED certification rather than helping the environment.

2. Points for Innovation

LEED also awards four bonus points for innovative design. This means that if you are unable to create the most cutting-edge sustainable design, you will undoubtedly lose those points. It is difficult for smaller businesses to pay large sums of money for innovative architects.

3. Necessitates time and effort

Despite the fact that I suggest that rigging the system is very simple, obtaining a LEED certification can be quite intimidating and overwhelming. It uses a lot of energy and requires a lot of paperwork.

4. Expensive

LEED registration fees can range from $700 to $3750. On the other hand, the certification fee is separate and can range between $1500 and $7500. That works out to be around $10,000.

However, keep in mind that these are only the participation fees.

Then there are the actual costs, such as building with sustainable materials and hiring sustainability-audit staff.

Furthermore, the high initial costs of installing renewable energy options add up to a prohibitively expensive certification process.

As a result, many small sustainable businesses have abandon LEED certification entirely.

5. Subverts the true goal

For some, the concept of LEED certification is laughable.

This is due to one fatal flaw.

No matter how unsustainable the area is (for example, in the middle of the desert) or the purpose (for example, a parking structure), if the building meets the LEED criteria, it can obtain a LEED certification.

6. Many variables overlook

LEED is not a performance metric. It is, in fact, a design tool.

All Certification buildings must report their annual energy and water consumption. However, there is no way to tell if they are genuinely attempting to save energy.

For example, if a company installs recycling systems, renewable energy equipment such as solar panels, and high-efficiency appliances such as LED bulbs, but employees continue to overuse them, is energy being store?

A simple solution would be to hold regular meetings within the company to ensure proper resource utilization.

Unfortunately, as LEED certification grows in popularity, more businesses will seek it. This will encourage federal and state governments to provide more incentives for LEED-certified buildings. As a result, more designers and builders will blindly follow its specifications without questioning its true intent (to save resources).

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