LEED 101 : Green Building Basics

ECOS 04/15/2024

Reclaimed, sustainable, and eco-friendly are all buzzwords in the building industry these days, but who keeps track of what construction projects are really environmentally and health conscious? That would be LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. If you’re about to build a new home for your family or are a contractor looking to up your game, you’ll want to look into LEED certification.

LEED is operated by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a nonprofit that transforms the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, by focusing on the environment and human health. LEED is a certification program in which building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. There are four levels of certification and the number of points you earn determines your level:

  1. Certified (40-49 points)

  2. Silver (50-59 points)

  3. Gold (60-79 points)

  4. Platinum (80+ points)

There are also five project categories, with family homes and low-rise multi-family homes comprising their own category. Prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system, so what earns points in home applications may not in commercial building projects.

What’s really wonderful about USGBC is their vast library of knowledge. If you want to build your family a LEED certified home, check out our guide on how to find an eco-friendly contractor and consider taking a LEED 101 course, just to get your feet wet and gain a basic knowledge of your home’s design. If you’re a contractor, you can become LEED certified online through their course offerings.

As science and research progresses, LEED evolves and changes their certification criteria. ECOS Paints is proud to join LEED as they move into their LEEDv4 standards. We recently published Health Product Declarations (HPD) for a number of our most popular products, making us the first paint company in North America to provide such transparency. HPDs are a voluntary certification process and is an integral part of achieving the new LEEDv4 Materials and Resources Credit.

Are you considering a LEED certification? Do you have questions? Let us know in the comments and we'll do our best to help!