A look at how LEED components make certification possible

A look at how LEED components make certification possible

Graphic courtesy of USGBC

LEED points, LEED credits, LEED prerequisites all contribute to certification, but how are they different? These three fundamental elements help achieve LEED certification for a project.

Here’s a look at the role each play in a project, according to the U.S. Green Building Council, which administers the LEED program.


LEED certification means healthier, more productive places to live, learn, work and play, as well as less stress on the environment, by encouraging energy- and resource-efficient buildings. While project managers can pick and choose the credits they want to pursue, prerequisites set the minimum requirements that all buildings need to meet to achieve LEED certification.

Additionally, fulfilling the requirements of prerequisites will not earn points. Think of them as the foundation — without it, you can’t construct a building.


These are what set a building apart from the rest. You are free to go for any credit you want within your chosen rating system, as long as it applies to your project type. Certain credits pair well with certain prerequisites or even other credits — called an integrated process — which amounts to synergistic benefits.

If prerequisites are the foundation, then credits are everything else. That is also why credits earn you points. 


The more points, the higher the reward. With LEED, there are many rewards, ranging from healthier spaces to buildings that save money and resources. The number of points a project earns determines the level of LEED certification it receives. There are four levels of certification:

  • Certified (40–49 points)
  • Silver (50–59 points)
  • Gold (60–79 points)
  • Platinum (80+ points)

Credits earn points, but prerequisites do not. 

Check out all of the credits and prerequisites in the LEED credit library.

Topics: Associations / Organizations, Building Owners and Managers, Certifications, Great Commercial Buildings, Sustainable Communities, USGBC

Companies: U.S. Green Building Council

Sponsored Links:

Latest Content

Get the latest news & insights





High-efficiency refugee center seeks final partners for construction