Policy Brief: LEED and Green Building Codes
The LEED® Green Building Rating Systems are voluntary systems that assess the environmental performance of built projects across a spectrum of key criteria. From water and energy use efficiency to location, the impact of materials used, and more, LEED is intentionally designed to recognize buildings that go beyond minimum code compliance. While these minimums will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, they should at the very least include the most current version of the model energy code as a mandatory minimum for all buildings
With the release of the first public versions of the International Green Construction Code (and ASHRAE Standard 189.1 as a jurisdictional compliance option), there is now a code baseline that is available for jurisdictions to consider. When adopted and implemented as mandatory, these green building codes can provide regulatory oversight over a spectrum of measures that can lessen the impact of our buildings on human and environmental health, while also taking advantage of energy, water and resource efficiency.