LEED Certification: LEED Platinum and the LEED Gold Standard

There are many ways to improve the energy efficiency of a building. LEED Certification is a great program to ensure the quality and energy-efficiency of your construction project. Now that you know all there is to know about LEED certification, here are some tips to help you score high on your next project!

What are Regional Priority Credits?

Regional credits were designed by LEED to give incentives for projects that address geographically specific environmental priorities, based on zip codes. Consider it like a bonus point for constructing in an area that has specific environmental needs.

Regional Priority4
Credit Regional Priority: Specific Credit1
Credit Regional Priority: Specific Credit1
Credit Regional Priority: Specific Credit1
Credit Regional Priority: Specific Credit1

Did you know that...

Having a LEED AP on the project is worth 1 point! Learn how you can become LEED accredited!

What are “Prereq” Credits?

These credits are required before any more points in the category are allotted. For example: In order to receive the maximum points allowed in the Indoor Environmental Quality category, the building must pass the minimum indoor air quality performance test.

The building must also include an environmental tobacco smoke control system. The maximum number of points a building can receive in this category is 16 points. All of these points are allotted only when the building has scored high in each additional credit below:

Indoor Environmental Quality16
PrereqMinimum Indoor Air Quality PerformanceRequired
PrereqEnvironmental Tobacco Smoke Control Required
CreditEnhanced Indoor Air Quality Strategies2
CreditLow-Emitting Materials3
CreditConstruction Indoor Air Quality Managment Plan1
CreditIndoor Air Quality Assessment2
CreditThermal Comfort1
CreditInterior Lighting2
CreditQuality Views1
CreditAcoustic Performance1

How can I score high in the Water Efficiency category?

For a building to score high in the water efficiency category, it must have indoor and outdoor water reduction plans in place. The same building must also have a water metering system in place. The total number of points a building can receive in this category is 11 points, considering if they score high in each additional credit below:

Water Efficiency11
PrereqOutdoor Water Use Reduction Required
PrereqIndoor Water Use Reduction Required
PrereqBuilding-Level Water MeteringRequired
CreditOutdoor Water Use Reduction2
CreditIndoor Water Use Reduction6
CreditCooling Water Tower Use2
CreditWater Metering1

How can I score high in the Innovation of Design category?

The maximum number of credits in this category is 6 points. LEED also offers an additional point for construction projects that have a LEED accredited professional (AP) on site.
Innovation 6
Credit Innovation 5
CreditLEED Accredited Professional 1

How can I score high in the Energy & Atmosphere category?

Because energy-efficiency is the most important, LEED offers the highest number points in this category. However, before a building can get the maximum 33 points allotted in this category, they must pass four prerequisites:

  • Fundamental Commissioning and Verification
  • Minimum Energy Performance
  • Building-Level Energy Metering
  • Fundamental Refrigerant Management

Afterwards, it is eligible to receive additional points from the credits below:

Energy & Atmosphere33
PrereqFundamental Comissioning and Verification Required
PrereqMinimum Energy PerformanceRequired
PrereqBuilding-Level Energy MeteringRequired
PrereqFundamental Refrigerant ManagementRequired
CreditEnhanced Commissioning6
CreditOptimize Energy Performance18
CreditAdvanced Energy Metering1
CreditDemand Response2
CreditRenewable Energy Production3
CreditEnhanced Refrigerant Management1
CreditGreen Power and Carbon Offsets2

How can I score high in the Materials & Resources category?

Before a building project can receive maximum points in this category, it must maintain responsible waste management and sustainable materials & resources. LEED offers a total of 13 points in this category, but first the building must pass two prerequisites:

  • Storage and Collection of Recyclables
  • Construction And Demolition Waste Management Planning
Materials & Resources13
PrereqStorage and Collection of RecyclablesRequired
PrereqConstruction and Demolition Waste Management PlanningRequired
CreditBuilding Life-Cycle Impact Reduction5
CreditBuilding Product Disclosure and Optimization - Enivromental Product Declarations2
CreditBuilding Product Disclosure and Optimization - Sourcing of Raw Materials2
CreditBuilding Product Disclosure and Optimization - Material Ingredients2
CreditConstruction and Demolition Waste Management2

How can I score high in the Sustainable Sites category?

This category offers a total of 10 points, considering the building site scores high in each and every credit category. LEED awards points to buildings that manage their construction activity and prevent pollution.

Sustainable Sites10
Prereq Construction Activity Pollution PreventionRequired
CreditSite Assessment1
CreditSite Development - Protect or Restore Habitat2
CreditOpen Space1
CreditRainwater Management3
CreditHeat Island Reduction2
CreditLight Pollution Reduction1

How can I score high in the Location & Transportation category?

LEED awards a maximum of 16 points in this credit category. In order to get the total number of points allotted and receive LEED platinum certification, a building must consider the location, and ensure it has access to eco-friendly transportation options.

Location & Transportation16
CreditLEED for Neighborhood Development Location16
CreditSensitive Land Protection1
CreditHigh Priority Site2
CreditSurrounding Density and Diverse Uses5
CreditAccess to Quality Transit5
CreditBicycle Facilities1
CreditReduced Parking Footprint1
CreditGreen Vehicles1

Recommended Reading

To become a LEED certified building, you must complete four steps: register, apply, review, and certify! After the review gets accepted, the GBCI can certify your building project with one of four certification levels.

LEED certification demonstrates steps taken to ensure a building’s durability, energy-efficiency, and its impact on the environment. Becoming LEED certified provides assurance that your building’s design and operation exist at the highest environmental standards.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED rates green buildings and ensures they maintain sustainable practices.

Shakir Williams
Shakir Williams

A true creative with a penchant for the spiritual and natural order. She loves the Earth, almost as much as she loves writing about it.

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