10 Useful Beginner Resources for LEED Certification

Posted by Ananth Rao on Nov 12, 2015 2:32:48 PM

If you are a Property Manager, building owner or a commercial real estate professional getting started with LEED certification for your building, you are probably wondering what the noise is all about.

 USGBC Member

This post lets you cut through all the jargon (BD+C, LEED-AP, EBOM, LEED V4, LEED 2009?!) and clutter around LEED and gets straight to some very useful resources, especially if you are new to LEED.

What the heck is LEED, anyway?




LEED is an acronym for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) rates buildings based on several criteria and your building earns points based on whether it meets these criteria. To be considered LEED certified, your building must earn a minimum of 40 points. LEED standards cover over 1.5 billion square feet in the United States and 30 countries.

Where do you get started?

The USGBC website has a TON of information to help you learn about all there is to LEED certification. This post summarizes all the material into a list of 10 useful resources to help you sort through the myriad of LEED-related information. Think of this list as your LEED introduction cheat sheet! 

(Note: These resources focus on LEED for commercial buildings, Building Operations and Maintenance. If you are interested in LEED for Homes, Neighborhood Development, Interior Design & Construction, or Building Design & Construction, please visit the USGBC website for more info.)


Here is the list:


  1. What is LEED? Click Here for an excellent overview of the LEED rating system.




  1. What LEED standards apply to your building and how you can get started? Here's a quick primer on LEED standards.




  1. Now that you know what standard applies to you, here's a link with details on what it takes to get LEED certified.




  1. Before you register a LEED project, wouldn’t you like to know the certification process and what you are up against?! This detailed guide provides comprehensive information on the LEED certification process for commercial buildings.




  1. So what do you really need to get your building LEED certified? The USGBC website provides excellent checklists (in Excel format) that break down points buildings can earn by category. Links below:



  1. What do all those categories and points mean? This LEED V4 User Guide provides detailed information on minimum program requirements, preparing for certification and how to choose a rating system. Here are links to more detailed guides on what those points mean: 


         You could, of course, purchase the full reference guide here. 



  1. One of the most commonly asked questions is whether you should register your project under LEED V4 or LEED 2009. As of today (10/25/15), you still have the option to register your building under LEED 2009 until October 2016 Here’s a great resource to help you see the major differences between LEED 2009 and LEED V4.  



  1. Curious to see what does it costs to be LEED certified? While the USGBC website provides costs for project registration and certification, here is a great article on the real costs of LEED certification.



  1. Want to connect with the LEED online community? Head over to the LEEDuser forum to catch up on discussions, ask questions to interact with LEED practitioners and enthusiasts.




  1. If all this sounds exciting and you want to become a certified LEED professional, you could earn the LEED Green Associate certification or become a LEED Accredited Professional. Click here to learn more about how you can enhance your LEED credentials.

LEED Credentialing - GBCI



How can a janitorial services contractor help with LEED certification? Click here and learn more about how a well implemented Green Cleaning program can help you maximize points towards LEED certification.


Topics: Green Cleaning, LEED AP, Sustainability, LEED

Free Download. Green Cleaning Grader.