LEED

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a holistic green building rating program. Introduced in 2000 by the US Green Building Council, LEED has transformed the green building market. The design, construction, operation and maintenance of a building are rated using a point system based on specific credit topics within several categories. Those categories include Sustainable Sites, Materials and Resources, Energy and Atmosphere, Water Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation in Design, and Regional Priorities. A total of 100 base points are available in the program, with ten additional points available from Innovation in Design and Regional Priorities categories. Buildings can be certified to four levels in the LEED program based on the points attained. Those levels are Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

It is important to note that buildings are certified in the LEED program and products are not. However, when steel components are used for the building envelope, framing, or structural members, they can help to qualify a building for LEED certification. For example, a cool metal roof can qualify a building for points in the Sustainable Sites category, Credit 7.2 Urban Heat Island: Roofs. Likewise, the use of steel with a high recycled content can help to qualify a building for points in the Materials and Resources Credit 4: Recycled Content. The energy efficiency of cool roofs, cool walls, and the fact that steel roofing is an ideal platform for renewable energy technologies are other examples where metal can qualify a building for additional points in various categories of LEED.

The next version of LEED, LEED 2012, is already under development. A public comment period has started on the proposed changes to the previous version. LEED strives to stay ahead of the curve and awards those buildings that are performing well above basic code compliance.​

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