Section 1 – History of LEED in Natural Building

From 1994 to 2015, LEED grew from one standard for new construction to a comprehensive system of interrelated standards covering aspects from the design and construction to the maintenance and operation of buildings.

LEED also has grown from six volunteers on one committee to over 120,000 staff, volunteers and professionals.

LEED standards have been applied to approximately 83,452 registered and certified LEED projects worldwide, covering around 13.8 billion square feet (1.28 billion square meters).

Many U.S. federal agencies and state and local governments require or reward LEED certification. However, four states (Alabama, Georgia, Maine, and Mississippi) have effectively banned the use of LEED in new public buildings, preferring other industry standards that the USGBC considers too lax.

Unlike model building codes, such as the International Building Code, only members of the USGBC and specific “in-house” committees may add, subtract, or edit the standard, subject to an internal review process.

Proposals to modify the LEED standards are offered and publicly reviewed by USGBC’s member organizations, which number almost 12,000.

USGBC’s Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) offers various accreditation to people who demonstrate knowledge of the LEED rating system, including:

  • LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP),

  • LEED Green Associate,

  • LEED Fellows, the highest designation for LEED professionals.

  • GBCI also certifies projects pursuing LEED.

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