Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design | LEED
The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification process developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) is the globally most widely applied process with a high level of acceptance among users and the international real estate markets.
The valuation of one or more properties is based on 8 theme areas:
- Infrastructural integration of the location
- Property qualities
- Water efficiency
- Energy + global environmental impacts
- Material cycles + resource conservation
- Indoor air quality
- Bonuses for criteria with particular location-specific importance
The system was differentiated according to the requirements of the different construction tasks and is available for the following variants:
- New buildings + renovations
BD+C | Building Design + Construction and Major Renovations
- Investor models (with little influence on the later tenant development)
BD+C (Core + Shell) | Building Design + Construction and Major Renovations (Core + Shell)
- Existing buildings
O+M | Existing Buildings – Operations + Maintenance
- Interior and tenant developments
ID+C | Interior Design + Construction
- Whole communities or cities
LEED for Cities – LEED for Communities
Points are awarded for the criteria of the theme areas described above. Depending on the number of points awarded, a project can achieve one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.
The conformity audit for verification of compliance with the criteria is carried out by the GBCI. The fees for registration of the project and for the audit depend on the size of the project (link to Certification fees). The fees for the LEED consultant for the management of the certification process and for communication with the GBCI as well as for the verification of specific criteria are to be negotiated separately with the respective consultant or suitable service providers and various quotations obtained.
Various alternative verification methods have been developed for Europe in the last 10 years. These enable verification of numerous criteria based on European standards (instead of by comparison with US-ASHRAE standards). The assessment of energy efficiency is excluded from this, as calculations based on the German Energy Savings Directive (EnEV) are justifiably not accepted by the USGBC as an instrument for energy demand forecasting due to the use of standard profiles.
The USGBC offers owners, developers of comparable properties (comparable in terms of their use, building type and standards) the method of a group certification (volume certification). First, a basic certificate is obtained here for a prototype of a portfolio; for the subsequent certifications, only the deviations from this initial assessment have to be documented, making the process far simpler, see also usgbc.org/tools/leed-certification/volume.
The certification process is operationally managed by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) on behalf of the USGBC. The central contact for Europe is GBCI Europe mit Sitz in München zentraler Ansprechpartner.
The special feature of the LEED process derives from the digital processing and use of data generated for the specific building. The data are managed online on the LEED Online platform. All data managed there can be transferred to the arc platform and used there as a basic data set for further certifications (also and in particular at portfolio level). This is currently a unique selling point of LEED compared with alternative or nationally available building certification systems.
The USGBC provides information on LEED APs operating in Germany under the following link. Most colleagues work throughout Germany, although there are experts in every region of Germany. You can find experts with different specialisations in the various LEED systems by clicking on the coloured logos alongside or under the consultants’ names. Other countries can also be selected via the menu bar; e.g. to find further colleagues working in the DACH region or in the EU.
Further information on the LEED process is available on the website of the system provider, see www.usgbc.org/leed.
If you have any further questions regarding contact persons and resources, please contact our office at the e-mail address email@example.com.
Our advisory board members have special expertise in individual topics of the LEED process and are happy to share their experience on strategies with our members.