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SITES-certified landscapes help reduce water demand, filter and reduce stormwater runoff, provide wildlife habitat, reduce energy consumption, improve air quality, improve human health and increase outdoor recreation opportunities.


SITES is a sustainability-focused framework that ushers landscape architects, engineers and others toward practices that protect ecosystems and enhance the mosaic of benefits they continuously provide our communities, such as climate regulation, carbon storage and flood mitigation. SITES is the culmination of years of research and development by leading professionals in the fields of soil, water, vegetation, materials and human health.

By providing performance measures rather than prescribing practices, SITES supports the unique conditions of each site, encouraging project teams to be flexible and creative as they develop beautiful, functional and regenerative landscapes.


LEED New Construction

LEED for New Construction & Major Renovations takes an integrative approach to producing buildings that are designed to be efficient and have a lower impact on their environment.

LEED (for New Construction) v1.0 was released in 2000 as the first LEED rating system geared towards new commercial office buildings. Today, LEED for New Construction V3 is applied to many building types including offices, libraries, churches, hotels and government buildings.

LEED for New Construction addresses design and construction activities for both new buildings and major renovations of existing buildings, which includes major HVAC improvements, significant envelope modifications, and major interior rehabilitation.

While primarily focused on design and construction, LEED for New Construction also helps lay the foundation for sustainable operations and maintenance practices once the project has been completed. Upfront planning for green operations and maintenance can help building owners and operators ensure that the building performs to its full potential

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LEED for Existing Buildings

LEED for Existing Buildings helps maximize the efficiency of your operations while minimizing the impact on the environment.

The rating system encourages owners and operators of existing buildings to implement sustainable practices and reduce the environmental impacts of their buildings, while addressing the major aspects of ongoing building operations:

exterior building site maintenance programs
water and energy use
environmentally preferred products and practices for cleaning and alterations
sustainable purchasing policies
waste stream management
ongoing indoor environmental quality
All buildings (as defined by standard building codes) are eligible for certification under LEED for Existing Buildings. It is targeted at single buildings, whether owner occupied, multitenant, or multiple-building campus projects. It is a whole-building rating system; individual tenant spaces aren’t eligible.

Global Alternative Compliance Paths and Europe Alternative Compliance Paths are available for this rating system.

An Ongoing Process

The prescriptive and performance strategies of LEED for Existing Buildings are intended to provide operational benefits throughout the life of the building. If these strategies are continued, a building can maintain and even improve its performance over time. Projects that certify under any version of LEED for Existing Buildings must recertify at least once every five years in order to keep their certification current.

The LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance Recertification Guidance provides clear direction for Existing Buildings projects that are ready to recertify.

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LEED Commercial Interiors

LEED for Commercial Interiors is the green benchmark for the tenant improvement market.

LEED for Commercial Interiors is the recognized system for certifying high-performance green tenant spaces that are healthy, productive places to work; are less costly to operate and maintain; and have a reduced environmental footprint. It gives tenants and designers, who do not always have control over whole building operations, the power to make sustainable choices. Making these choices during tenant improvements and interior renovations can dramatically affect the indoor environment.

This rating system was developed specifically for tenants in commercial and institutional buildings who lease their space or don’t occupy the entire building.

LEED for Commercial Interiors was designed to work hand-in-hand with the LEED for Core & Shell rating system, used by developers to certify the core and shell of a project and prepare the building for environmentally conscious tenants.

Global Alternative Compliance Paths are available for this rating system.

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LEED Core and Shell

Prepare your buildings for environmentally conscious tenants with LEED for Core & Shell.

We recognize the unique nature of the speculative development market, where project teams don’t control all aspects of the entire building’s design and construction. Depending on how a project is structured, a developer's influence can vary significantly from project to project. LEED for Core & Shell acknowledges this and can be adapted to a variety of project types.

LEED for Core & Shell can be used for projects where the developer controls the design and construction of the entire core and shell base building (e.g., mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems) but has no control over the design and construction of the tenant fit-out. Projects could include a commercial or medical office building, retail center, warehouse, or lab facility.

Because of the nature of the core and shell project type and scope, the LEED for Core & Shell rating system has some unique aspects.

Default occupancy counts: Guidance is provided for Core & Shell projects, which typically do not know what the actual building occupancy, for how for determining FTE and transient occupants.
Energy modeling guidelines: Guidance on how to model building systems that are beyond the developer’s scope of work is provided.
It is designed to be complementary to LEED for Commercial Interiors and LEED for Retail: Commercial Interiors.


After registering a project under LEED for Core & Shell, the project team can apply for precertification. Precertification is a formal recognition given to a candidate project that has established a goal to develop a LEED for Core & Shell building. Developers or owners of these projects can then market the building's proposed green features to potential tenants and financiers.

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LEED Schools

LEED for Schools is the recognized third-party standard for high performance schools that are healthy for students, comfortable for teachers, and cost-effective.

The LEED for Schools rating system was developed to address the design and construction of K-12 schools. Based on LEED for New Construction, it focuses on classroom acoustics, master planning, mold prevention, environmental site assessment and other issues important to these buildings. LEED for Schools provides a comprehensive tool for schools that wish to build green with measurable results by recognizing the uniqueness of school spaces and their occupants.

All projects involving a full building dedicated to K-12 instruction must use either LEED for Schools or LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance. Other projects (university educational buildings, K-12 athletic facilities, or interpretive centers) may choose to use LEED for Schools if they wish.

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LEED for Healthcare

First, do no harm. The goal of the LEED for Healthcare rating system is to help you design, build and operate, high-performance healing environments.

 The needs of healthcare facilities are very unique. Healthcare buildings often have strict regulatory requirements, 24/7 operations, and specific programmatic demands are not covered in LEED for New Construction. The LEED for Healthcare rating system acknowledges these differences by both modifying existing credits and creating new, healthcare-specific credits. The goal is to help promote healthful, durable, affordable, and environmentally sound practices in these projects.

LEED for Healthcare is geared towards inpatient and outpatient care facilities and licensed long term care facilities. It can also be used for medical offices, assisted living facilities and medical education and research centers.

Projects that meet certain criteria are required to use LEED for Healthcare. These include licensed and federal inpatient and outpatient care facilities and licensed long term care facilities.

Portada LEED for Healthcare Pdf Download

LEED for Neighborhood Development

LEED for Neighborhood Development integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building into the first national system for neighborhood design.

Whole neighborhoods, portions of neighborhoods, multiple neighborhoods—there is no minimum or maximum size for a LEED for Neighborhood Development project.

A rating system for today — for a brighter tomorrow

Thoughtful neighborhood planning can limit the need for automobiles and their greenhouse gas emissions. Mixed-use development and pedestrian-friendly streets encourage walking, bicycling and public transportation. Green buildings and infrastructure also lessen negative consequences for water resources, air quality and natural resource consumption.

The character of a neighborhood, including its streets, homes, workplaces, shops and public spaces, affects quality of life. Green developments respect historic resources and the existing community fabric. They preserve open space and encourage access to parks.

Combine the substantial environmental and social benefits, and the case for green neighborhoods makes itself.

Unlike any other

LEED for Neighborhood Development, developed in collaboration with Congress for the New Urbanism and the Natural Resources Defense Council, emphasizes elements that bring buildings and infrastructure together and relates the neighborhood to its local and regional landscape.

Download LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating System

LEED for Retail

LEED for Retail is designed to guide and distinguish high-performance retail projects, including banks, restaurants, apparel, electronics, big box and everything in between.

A unique fit for retail and hospitality. LEED for Retail recognizes the unique nature of the retail environment and addresses the different types of spaces retailers need for their product lines. Compared with other commercial buildings, retail has different occupancy characteristics and hours of operation, different parking and transportation considerations, and different process water and energy consumption. Retail projects also may be part of a larger multi-tenant retail complex, where certain issues are addressed at the site level rather than by the project itself.

LEED for Retail provides two options for projects seeking certification:

  • New Construction & Major Renovations: Addresses specifics for the construction or major renovation of a retail building. A major renovation includes major HVAC improvements, significant envelope modifications and major interior rehabilitation.
  • Commercial Interiors: Addresses the specifics of tenant spaces where a retailer is retrofitting an existing building, and the shell of the building is outside of the tenant’s control. Individual tenants may seek LEED for Retail: Commercial Interiors certification for their spaces whether the rest of the building is LEED-certified or not. Works hand-in-hand with LEED for Core & Shell.

Download LEED for Retail Rating System

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