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Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, is a voluntary, national rating system that provides a framework for assessing economic and environmental building performance and meeting sustainability goals. The system deals with aspects of design, construction and operation in relation to site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selections, and indoor air quality. Projects earn points based on a matrix of baseline requirements and voluntary choices pertaining to sustainability and conservation. Many of these requirements and alternatives are already required in the State of California under current building codes. Projects are awarded one of four levels of certification based on their final scoring; “basic certification, Silver, Gold, and Platinum”.
LEED has become a recognized standard in evaluating sustainable building practices and has been adopted by a number of national, state and local governmental agencies as well as a broad mix of universities.
Santa Clara University is a member of the Green Building Council, the overseeing body of the LEED rating system. We have staff that have been trained in the principles of LEED and retain a number of LEED certified design consultants. The Office of Projects and Planning has completed an initial analysis of the proposed new Leavey School of Business building based on the LEED criteria with promising results.
See the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for more information.