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What is LEED?

Since many people have become more interested in the "green" eco friendly movement, there are certain acronyms that you may soon be hearing more often.  One of those acronyms is LEED. 

leedphoto courtesy of jbolhuis sxc.hu/photo/343894What is LEED?
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design that was developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC).  Per the USGBC, they are "an internationally recognized green building certification system,  providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts."

What does LEED mean to you?
LEED rates the environmental quality of buildings by recognizing performance in sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials & resources, indoor environmental quality, locations & linkages, awareness & education, innovation in design, and regional priority.  A building is given points based on these criteria and if it receives enough points, may be given a ranking of certified, silver, gold, or platinum (platinum being best).  If a building you live or work in has a high ranking, you will know that it is good for the environment and your health.  The building will more than likely end up costing you less to maintain than one that uses building methods traditionally used in the past.  The building will also probably appraise for more because of its lower cost to operate.  Research online to see how many LEED certified buildings are in your area.  If building a home, look for builders and designers who have a LEED professional credential. 

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