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What is so special about LEED certification?

The past few days, the author has been referring to the Montgomery Plaza Chick-fil-a in Fort Worth, the first restaurant in the chain to be LEED Gold certified. But only today, while he was preparing to release his findings about the various environmental innovations that are implemented in the store, a thought came to him regarding his audience. The Examiner prides itself on being a journal that talks to the common man with common language, so it occurred to him that perhaps his audience doesn’t know what LEED means, or its significance in this series of articles he is releasing over the course of the week.

So, the author will attempt to answer the question that he is sure might be on everybody’s mind:

What is LEED?

According to the website, LEED, which is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was a program formed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2000 in their attempt to encourage businesses and contractors to use energy saving techniques and architecture in construction. Since it is a third party certification program, “LEED certification is recognized across the globe as the premier mark of achievement in green building.”

It operates under a point system across seven fields that each stress a different sector of environmental concern, whether that be water, electricity, air, or the land itself. Each building during development is closely monitored by the USGBC, which gives points in each field based on what it sees in the blueprints, and the practices used by workers and their supervisors. At the end of development, the USGBC reviews the final tallies and announces what level of certification that building received, with basic Certified being the lowest at 40-49 points, and Platinum being the pinnacle at 80+ points.

To be LEED certified means that that building and its owners stand at the forefront of green innovation, serving as the vanguard of the future, in both business and environmental stewardship.

Not a bad thing to be labeled as, right? Check out the hyperlink above to find out more about the USGBC and LEED certification.