LEED Rating System
EARN LEED CREDITS WITH SOY BIOBASED PRODUCTS
The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has established a rating system for buildings called the LEED rating system. Buildings are certified based on the accumulation of points that are earned through meeting various design, construction, and operation criteria.
There is the potential to earn LEED credits by using soy-based materials and products that meet specific LEED criteria.
The information on this website regarding earning LEED credits under the LEED rating system is based on information in the LEED 2009 rating systems as updated in April 2013. This information should be used as an initial guide and assessment only. For additional information and more detailed specification information see the USGBC web site on LEED.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What types of biobased products can be used to help earn LEED points?
- How many LEED points can be earned using biobased material and products that meet LEED criteria?
- What are the LEED project categories?
- How does the rating system work?
- How many points are required for LEED certification?
- What are the Credit Category opportunities for earning LEED points using biobased materials and products?
- What are the specific criteria for earning LEED points for New Construction and Renovation?
- What are the specific criteria for earning LEED points for Existing Buildings Operation and Maintenance?
The biobased products listed below that meet LEED criteria can be used to obtain credits toward LEED certification for one or more of the building categories.
- Adhesives and Sealants
- Carpet and Flooring
- Cleaning Products
- Composite Wood Products
- Entryway Matting
- Office Products
- Paints and Coatings
- Rapidly Renewable Materials
- Regional Materials
- Roofing and Insulation
New construction projects and major renovations as well as operation and maintenance of existing buildings offer opportunities for earning credits toward LEED certification using biobased products that meet LEED criteria in various categories. The use of biobased products meeting the LEED criteria could earn as much as 10 points, which represents 25% of the points needed for basic LEED certification or 12.5% of the points needed for platinum status. (See points, categories, and criteria described below.)
Currently, there are seven categories of LEED certified projects for buildings:
- New Construction and Major Renovations
LEED for New Construction addresses design and construction activities for both new buildings and major renovations of existing buildings. LEED for New Construction was designed primarily for new commercial office buildings, but it has been applied to many other building types by LEED practitioners. All commercial buildings, as defined by standard building codes, are eligible for certification as LEED for New Construction buildings.
- Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance
LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance was designed to certify the sustainability of ongoing operations of existing commercial and institutional buildings. All such buildings, as defined by standard building codes, are eligible for certification under LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance and include offices, retail and service establishments, institutional buildings (libraries, schools, museums, churches, etc.), hotels, and residential buildings of 4 or more habitable stories.
- Schools New Construction and Major Renovations
LEED for Schools addresses design and construction activities for both new school buildings and major renovations of existing school buildings.
- Retail New Construction and Major Renovations
LEED for Retail recognizes the unique nature of the retail environment and addresses the different types of spaces retailers need for their product lines.
- Core and Shell Development
The LEED for Core & Shell Rating System is a market-specific application that recognizes the unique nature of core and shell development. LEED for Core & Shell can be used for projects in which 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.
- Commercial Interiors
The LEED Green Building Rating System for Commercial Interiors is a set of performance standards for certifying the design and construction of tenant spaces for office, restaurant, healthcare, hotel/resort and education buildings of all sizes, both public and private.
LEED for Healthcare addresses design and construction activities for both new buildings and major renovations of existing buildings. LEED for Healthcare was written primarily for inpatient and outpatient care facilities and licensed long term care facilities. The rating system may also be used for medical offices, assisted living facilities and medical education and research centers.
For each LEED project category there is a rating system that is based on 100 total points. Points can be earned by meeting specific criteria in five different “credit” categories:
- Sustainable Sites;
- Water Efficiency;
- Energy and Atmosphere;
- Materials and Resources; and
- Indoor Environmental Quality.
There are four levels of LEED certification:
- LEED Certified = 40 to 49 points required;
- LEED Certified Silver = 50 to 59 points required;
- LEED Certified Gold = 60 to 79 points required; and
- LEED Certified Platinum = 80 points or higher required.
There is the potential to earn LEED credits by using biobased materials and products. The primary opportunity for earning credits is with the use of low-emitting materials during construction and remodeling projects and the use of green cleaning products for building operation and maintenance.
View and print quick reference charts showing credits available for use of biobased products wihin the seven categories for LEED certified projects.
The information regarding LEED rating systems should be used as an initial guide and assessment only. For additional information and more detailed specification information see the USGBC website on LEED rating systems.