What is LEED?

LEED for homes rating system.
LEED for homes rating system. Celine Lecompte © Écohabitation

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized rating system for commercial buildings and homes administered by the CaGBC (Canada Green Building Council)  to encourage sustainable building practices.

While the commercial program has been in effect for much longer, LEED for Homes Canada was developed in 2009, and applies to single-family homes and low-rise multi-family units up to 3 stories. Midrise residential buildings of 4 to 9 stories in Canada can participate in the USBGC program through Canadian Homes Providers.

A LEED Certified home is one verified by an independent third party to have met standards beyond conventional building practices to create a healthier, more sustainable and energy efficient home.

To achieve LEED certification of a home, builders are required to meet 19 prerequisite measures and a minimum amount of optional credits. Levels of certification that can be achieved are Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum based on the amount of points earned, Platinum being the highest.