The goals of the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED certification process are to improve the environmental performance and economic returns of buildings, while also improving and protecting the health of occupants. Buildings are LEED-certified if they can be shown to attain at least 26 points (out of a possible 69). The certification awards system is further refined into three categories: Silver (33-38 points), Gold (39-51 points) and Platinum (52 points or more).
The LEED rating system for new construction and major renovations (LEED-NC) is divided into five categories, each with numerous credits to acknowledge sustainable building practices, plus a sixth category to recognize pioneering designs that exceed the LEED credit requirements or that address sustainable issues not covered by the rating system. The categories are as follows:
- Sustainable Sites (14 available points)
- Water Efficiency (5 available points)
- Energy and Atmosphere (17 available points)
- Materials and Resources (13 available points)
- Indoor Environmental Quality (15 available points)
- Innovation and Design Process (5 available points)/li>
About the Author
Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at www.masonrymagazine.com.