In 1998, the US Green Building Council created guidelines for building “green” in order to officially recognize qualified buildings as “green”. LEED has become synonymous with responsible building. Certification is based on a scoring system; with levels of certification ranging from “Certified” to “Platinum” (a project needs a total of 26 points to be “Certified”). Points are awarded in six different categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation & Design Process. The process starts in the earliest stages of planning, so in order to ultimately achieve certification, developers, architects, builders and occupants need to share a common vision; it’s a holistic approach in every sense of the term. For more information on LEED, visit www.usgbc.org.