Established in 1994 LEED Rating System is a multicriteria building rating system and the best vehicle for promoting sustainable design and construction. It was innovated by the American non-profit organization USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council). The organization was founded in 1993 and nowadays it concentrates members from each sector of construction i.e. developers and government agencies.
The main objective of USGBC is to promote a new sustainable way of designing, constructing and managing & operating of the buildings so that their impact on the environment is minor. One may say that such a way of ecological development is the main strain of today’s building techniques.
Even though in Poland the best known and practiced certification concerns office developments, set criteria can be used for different types of constructions. One can certify new constructions (LEED for New Construction), just interiors (LEED for Commercial Interiors), schools (LEED for Schools), hospitals (LEED for Healthcare) or homes (LEED for Homes).
Certified building or neighborhood development may earn 100 + 10 bonus points for innovative credits.
Depending on how much points was awarded the project can be certified with four different levels of certification:
- 40-49 points - certified level,
- 50-59 points - silver level,
- 60-69 points - gold level,
- 80 or more points - platinum level.
U.S. LEED Rating System and the British BREEAM assessment are the most important green buildings certificates in Poland. In fact, there are many systems to assess compliance with the principles of sustainable development. Selection and application of an appropriate system is an important element in designing the new facility construction. The building with certificate is a prestige, not only on national stage but also international one.