Campus Planning

LEED® Standards:  What are they?

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The LEED® ratings system is a widely used set of standards for evaluating sustainable, environmentally responsible facility design and construction.

LEED®, which is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for the design of high-performance, sustainable buildings and interiors.

The LEED® Building Rating System is organized into several categories:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Innovation in Design

There are four different types or classifications of LEED® standards:

  • LEED - NC : for new construction and major renovation projects
  • LEED - EB : for existing building operations and maintenance
  • LEED - CI : for commercial interior projects
  • LEED - CS : for *core and shell projects

*"core and shell" refers to basic building parts, such as the structure and foundations, the mechanical or HVAC systems, or the building exterior

The Rating System is based on a Project Checklist containing 69 items, each worth one point. There are four certification categories:

  • Certified:  at least 26 points plus documentation
  • Silver: at least 33 points plus documentation
  • Gold:  at least 39 points plus documentation
  • Platinum: at least 52 points plus documentation

The ratings are based on checklists of specific activities, some required for certification and others optional.  Many items contain a minimum threshold for qualification, such as 30% reduction in water use or 75% re-use of the existing building shell.  The Innovation in Design category awards points for exceptional performance that exceeds the checklists and/or for innovative performance in green building categories not specifically addressed by LEED®


Planning Division of Facilities Management; Mail #5313
Western Michigan University
1903 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo MI 49008 USA
(269) 387-8543 or 387-8544 | (269) 387-8818 Fax


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Planning Division; Facilities Management
Campus Services Building

1201 Oliver Street

Kalamazoo, MI  49008