Green Building Rating System

Green Building Rating System: LEED®
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a set of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of energy efficient green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods. LEED certification aims to encourage improvements in environmental and human health through improving building performance.
LEED certified buildings use resources more efficiently than conventional buildings, and function at significantly higher performance levels than buildings simply built to code.
The ratings system recognizes performance in five key areas of human and environmental health, including sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
LEED Canada rating systems include guidelines for:
  • New Construction
  • Core and Shell
  • Commercial Interiors
  • Existing Buildings
  • Homes
  • Neighbourhoods
New version of LEED now available in Canada

Guided by a set of goals for what LEED projects should accomplish, LEED v4 includes a comprehensive technical update to the rating system requirements. While some aspects remain familiar, others incorporate important, fundamental revisions. Materials, for example, are evaluated more holistically using multiple attributes through approaches such as Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Product Declarations. There is a greater emphasis on performance, as reflected in water and energy metering requirements, while integrative design, envelope commissioning, and acoustics are some of the new issues addressed within LEED v4.


Projects now use the LEED rating system on a wider variety of project types than ever before. From stadiums to convention centers, commercial offices to hospitals, each space type has unique needs and challenges when using LEED. LEED v4 addresses 21 different market sector adaptations, including new and existing data centers, new and existing warehouse and distribution centers, hospitality, existing schools, existing retail, and multifamily midrise.

LEED Projects In Canada
More than 4500 projects have registered for LEED certification in Canada. These include a wide variety of projects, from office towers to single-family dwellings. Numerous factors are considered when assessing projects. Assessments are divided into the five major categories.
In each of these categories, several 'credits' are available. For example, in the category of Water Efficiency, there may credits awarded for Water Efficient Landscaping, Innovative Waste Water Technologies, and Water Use Reduction.
By assessing each aspect of the building, LEED Canada comes up with a numeric score that determines which the level of certification achieved. Levels are Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Why Opt for LEED Certification?
The benefits of building to LEED specifications are numerous and wide-ranging. Buildings with LEED certification benefit owners, the people who work in them, and the planet.
Building to LEED specifications ensures that you will experience immediate and significant cost savings. You will save on energy, water, and other resources, and lower your operating costs. A LEED building will provide a healthier, cleaner environment for workers or tenants, which will result in a better quality of life for the building's occupants. This can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction. LEED buildings are valued much higher than conventional buildings of a similar size, and are in high demand.
Other benefits of LEED certification include the fact that you will have reduced your company's carbon footprint, and enhanced your profile as a company that cares about the environment and a sustainable future.
The Canada Green Building Council
An excellent source for information about LEED and LEED v4 is the foremost national organization for sustainable building, the Canada Green Building Council, (CaGBC.) As the license holder for the LEED green building rating system in Canada the CaGBC maintains a listing of all the LEED certified projects in the country, and is deeply involved in LEED education.
Visit the Canada Green Building Council website at http://www.cagbc.org/ and learn more about the advantages of LEED certification.
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