LEED ®, acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a system of certification of buildings that was born voluntarily and is applied in more than 140 countries in the world. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit American born in 1993, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identification and practical implementation of solutions which can be measured through design, build and maintain sustainable buildings.
LEED promotes building industry and development of sustainable practices through a range of different certification systems according to different projects, putting in place strategies to improve their environmental performance. Italian Green Building Council (GBC Italy), non-profit association that works to promote a sustainable building culture, appropriate to national realities, and promotes LEED system in Italy as well, thanks to a partnership agreement with the USGBC. LEED certification systems are developed through a process of open dialogue, based on approvals and guided by different voluntary committees made up of experts and highly qualified technicians.
LEED is a flexible framework which enables design and building teams to evaluate strategy to optimizes relationship between the building and the surrounding environment. It is divided into 7 sections organized in compulsory conditions, and credits, chosen according to project characteristics; scores sets level of certification achieved (Basic, Silver, Gold and Platinum).
7 key areas are: site sustainability, water management, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation in design and regional priorities.
LEED certification provides the building check carried out by an independent third party by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), an independent organization which includes an international certification bodies network, that ensure for the entire certification process skills, coherence and integrity. LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) is an highly skilled figure in LEED certification process; he has to lead design and construction team to achieve certification.