The Sustainable Sites category discourages development on previously undeveloped land; seeks to minimise a building’s impact on ecosystems and waterways; encourages regionally appropriate landscaping; rewards smart transportation choices; controls storm water runoff; and promotes reduction of erosion, light pollution, heat island effect and construction-related pollution.
The goal of the Water Efficiency category is to encourage smarter use of water, inside and out. Water reduction is typically achieved through more efficient appliances, fixtures and fittings inside and water-conscious landscaping outside.
Energy and Atmosphere
The Energy and Atmosphere category encourages a wide variety of energy-wise strategies: Commissioning; energy use monitoring; efficient design and construction; efficient appliances, systems and lighting; the use of renewable and clean sources of energy, generated on-site or off-site; and other innovative measures.
Materials and Resources
The Materials and Resources category encourages the selection of sustainably grown, harvested, produced and transported products and materials.
Indoor Environmental Quality
The Indoor Environmental Quality category promotes strategies that improve indoor air as well as those that provide access to natural daylight and views and improve acoustics.
Locations and Linkages
The Locations and Linkages category encourages building on previously developed or infill sites and away from environmentally sensitive areas. Credits reward homes that are built near already-existing infrastructure, community resources and transit.
Awareness and Education
The Awareness and Education category encourages home builders and real estate professionals to provide homeowners, tenants and building managers with the education and tools they need to understand what makes their home green and how to make the most of those features.
Innovation in Design
The Innovation in Design category provides bonus points for projects that use innovative technologies and strategies to improve a building’s performance well beyond what is required by other LEED credits.
USGBC’s regional councils, chapters and affiliates have identified the most important local environmental concerns, and six LEED credits addressing these local priorities have been selected for each region of the US.
A project that earns a regional priority credit will earn one bonus point in addition to any points awarded for that credit.
Up to four extra points can be earned in this way.