Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) (opens in a new tab) in March 2000, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions. LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize and implement strategies for better environmental and health performance. The LEED rating systems are developed through an open, consensus-based process led by LEED committees made up of diverse groups of volunteers representing a cross-section of the building and construction industry.
LEED Certified Residence Halls
The following residence halls have been LEED certified:
- 2010: Frank Hall (LEED Gold Certification)
- 2012: Mountaineer Hall (LEED Gold Certification)
- 2013: Cone Hall (LEED Gold Certification)
LEED Key Areas of Performance
Site selection and development are important components of a building's sustainability. The Sustainable Sites category discourages development on previously undeveloped land; seeks to minimize a building's impact on ecosystems and waterways; encourages regionally appropriate landscaping; rewards smart transportation choices; controls storm water runoff; and promotes reduction of erosion, light pollution, heat island effect, and construction-related pollution.
Buildings are major users of our potable water supply. The goal of the Water Efficiency category is to encourage smarter use of water, inside and out. Water reduction is typically achieved through more efficient appliances, fixtures, and fittings inside in addition to water-concsious landscaping outside.
Indoor Environmental Quality:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans spend about 90% of their day indoors where the air quality can be significantly worse than outside. The Indoor Environmental Quality category promotes strategies that improve indoor air as well as those that improve acoustics and provide access to natural daylight and views.
Innovation in Design:
The Innovation in Design category provides bonus points for projects that use innovative technologies and strategies to improve a building's performance well beyond what is required by other LEED credits, or to account for green building considerations that are not specifically addressed elsewhere in LEED. This category also rewards projects for including a LEED Accredited Professional on the team to ensure a holistic, integrated approach to the design and construction process.
Energy & Atmosphere:
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings use 39% of the energy and 74% of the electricity produced each year in the United States. The Energy & Atmosphere category encourages a wide variety of energy-wise strategies: commissioning; energy use monitoring; efficient design and construction; efficient appliances, systems, and lighting; the use of renewable and clean energy sources generated on- or off-site; and other innovation measures.
Materials & Resources:
During both the construction and operation phases, buildings generate a lot of waste and use large quantities of materials and resources. The Materials & Resources category encourages the selection of sustainably grown, harvested, produced, and transported products and materials. It promotes waste reduction as well as reuse and recycling, and particularly rewards the reduction of waste at a product's source.
USGBC's regional councils, chapters, and affiliates have identified the most important local environmental concerns, and six LEED credits addressing these local priorities have been selected for each region of the country. A project that earns a regional priority credit will earn one bonus point in addition to any points awarded for that credit. Up to four extra points can be earned in this way.