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Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

The LEED program is a green and sustainable building framework that provides a series of metrics and performance targets to quantify the sustainable features of a building.  This program was originally created in 1994 by the U.S. Green Building Council, who continue to oversee the implementation of the LEED program worldwide.

In Canada, LEED traces its roots back to 2004, with the launch of the LEED Canada for New Construction and Major Renovations (LEED Canada-NC) system.  Since then, the system has continuously evolved with new iterations, changes to sustainability metrics, and increased focus on specific building types.  The current version, LEED v4.0, focuses on nine overarching categories of sustainability attributes:

  • Integrated Design: focusing on a holistic and project delivery model, including input from all stakeholders

  • Location and Transportation: focusing on sustainable transportation and improving community connection

  • Sustainable Sites: focusing on physical location, rainwater management, and minimizing ecological impacts

  • Water Efficiency: focusing on water conservation, both inside and outside the building

  • Energy and Atmosphere: focusing on the initial and ongoing energy performance of the building

  • Materials and Resources: focusing on sustainable material sourcing and minimizing construction waste

  • Indoor Environmental Quality: focusing on low-emitting products and a healthy indoor environment

  • Innovation in Design: focusing on innovative sustainability initiatives outside of the LEED rating system

  • Regional Priority: focusing on sustainability initiatives that resonate stronger given the project location

This version of LEED continues to advance and encourage market transformation, and includes new sustainability metrics such as supply chain accountability and transparency, building life cycle assessment, and a reduction of embodied carbon.  And LEED will continue to evolve in the future, responding to market feedback and climate science, providing a sustainable framework to guide developers, designers, and construction professionals.

Want to Learn More about Green Buildings?

Click on the link to learn more about the Canada Green Building Council

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