The History of LEED Certification

As real estate development continues to evolve a more environmentally-friendly mindset, green building certification programs are becoming a worldwide normality. LEED — or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — is a common practice across the globe and within our Optima properties

The first concept of LEED emerged in 1993, spearheaded by international environmental advocacy groups. By the early 1990s, the demand for sustainable buildings was already on the rise; the combined development in environmental legislation and the concern of tenants and shareholders pushed real estate developers, architects and industry leaders to re-think their methodologies. Non-profits, government agencies, architects, engineers, developers, builders and manufacturers came together to officially introduce the LEED program in 2000.

Since then, LEED has grown into the world’s most widely-used green building rating system, with nearly 80,000 projects participating across 162 countries. From residential buildings to commercial spaces, LEED provides a framework that project teams can use to create efficient, cost-saving green buildings. 

So how does a building become LEED certified? It depends on the project. There are various LEED rating systems for different situations, including building design and construction, interior design, building operations and maintenance, neighborhood development, homes, and cities and communities. Depending on the given system, requirements can range from material choices, to greenhouse gas emissions, to energy and water consumption, to air filter systems. Through these strategies, LEED buildings have a positive impact on their residents or tenants, their communities and the environment.

 Landscaped Courtyard at Optima Biltmore Towers
Landscaped Courtyard at Optima Biltmore Towers

From our building materials to our amenity spaces, we are in constant pursuit of bettering our buildings with environmentally conscious practices, something we’ve been passionate about since our beginnings. Ultimately certifications like LEED help us improve our buildings, support environmental efforts and create a long, lasting impact

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Maintenance Supervisor

Glencoe, IL

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