Another acronym has been introduced to the roofing
industry—LEED. No, this is not a new membrane type. The
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Green
Building Rating System™ is a voluntary, consensus-based
standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.
Launched four years ago by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC),
LEED is an integrated design approach that addresses the potentials
of water conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy,
material selection and indoor environmental quality. Buildings that
successfully meet LEED requirements can receive certification and
qualify for tax credits.
Although LEED only recently was introduced, more than 700
private and public buildings have been registered for LEED
certification. About 39 percent are state and local government
projects; 39 percent are private-sector projects; 13 percent are
nonprofit projects; and 10 percent are federal projects. Projects
include manufacturing facilities, firehouses, convention centers
and schools. Projects have been registered from all 50 U.S. states
and nine countries.
The pace of LEED certification undoubtedly will quicken as a
growing number of state and local governments encourage sustainable
building practices through various financial, zoning and other
Following is an overview of LEED; issues related to roof
systems; and items of interest to roof system designers,
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