American and Canadian LEED

In the United States (the birthplace of LEED certification), the US Green Building Council (USGBC) has developed several categories of certification: New Construction, Existing Buildings, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell, and Homes and Neighbourhoods. All LEED–USA certifications were developed based on American climate, construction practices, and regulations.

In Canada, the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) adapted the certifications to Canadian conditions. Today, all LEED certifications have been adapted to the Canadian context, except for Neighbourhood certification, for which Canadian equivalencies are being developed. Canadian neighbourhood projects can be submitted to the USGBC for LEED certification as international projects. LEED Canada certification for houses applies only to individual one-family houses and multi-family structures with more than three floors. Buildings of six or fewer storeys may be eligible for LEED certification for medium-sized buildings through the USGBC.

The LEED certification system is continually evolving. Expert committees are established to review certifications so that these remain credible and continue to being efficient in promoting a global approach to sustainability.