By this point I have had several sustainability classes, and other lectures that at least tied sustainability into design methods. So I would really hope, and assume, that everyone knows what LEED is and what the programs purpose is.
To be safe, LEED was a program developed by the U.S. Green Building to provide verification of green buildings. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, “addresses the entire lifecycle of a building, and is transforming the way built environments are designed, constructed, and operated.” They are a voluntary program aiming to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, conserve energy and water, lower operating costs, and promote a healthier built environment. LEED has four levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. These certifications are given through a point system, which is approved by members of the USGBC and even available to the public (helpful for class projects).
More or less the LEED program shows to the public what some people are doing to be more sustainable. Along with that, I think it also helps educate people on sustainability. Because these buildings are labeled with their LEED certification “stamps” people take notice and may become more interested in the program as the move forward.
This is why I believe that LEED is a good stepping stone to the future. Not to take anything away from LEED, because it is a very positive program. But what if we move beyond being environmentally conscious and harming the environment less, but actually start doing positive things for it? Things like Zero EnergyBuilding, are becoming increasingly discussed and will hopefully transform our society from “doing better” to “doing good”.