LEED certification India- a comprehensive guide

LEED certification India is a hot topic these days. After engaging in different activities that harmed nature, its time we give our time to take care of mother earth from our busy schedule. Building certification is the testimony of that.

Okay, so what’s the big deal about LEED certification india?  Is it different from other countries. For that let me quickly walk you through,

What’s leed certification india?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental design (LEED) is a building rating system established by US Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998. The rating system awards points to a building in certain categories, with the leap towards eco- friendliness. V4.1, is the latest version of leed certification. It has universal standards, but some changes in countrywise. We are going to see how leed certification india works.

Now you know the leed cerfication India definition. Here’s the next question.

Is it worth being leed certified?

  1. It will certainly take your building into the mountain of fame and the brand value skyrockets
  2. It grows your business tremendously because customers will have a connect with you every time they approach your building for a service
  3. It helps you to avoid the rat race with competitors, because you will have the unique advantage of the established benchmark of your responsibility to society.
  4. The productivity of the employees or occupants will improve exponentially due to the features of the building.
  5. The operation costs will downfall

After all, who doesn’t want to build a personal brand and be someone others want to replicate?

Now, I’m going to guide you through the simple steps to achieve this untold secrets of LEED.

Wait. Let me make the journey interesting for you. Imagine LEED as the favourite exam you have written in your life now.

Deal? Cool! Here we go.

How to get LEED certification India?

Outside of the United States, there are plenty of options for using the LEED system. Why would we go for all? Let me choose the best among them for you.

i. Adapt the LEED building ratings to the local system by working with the U.S. Green Building Council. Under this option, certification would be completed by the local system. Countries such as. Brazil, China, Canada, India, the Philippines and Spain have their own versions of LEED.

ii. Certify the international system under the U.S. version of LEED. If this option is pursued, the building is subject to the codes and regulations of the United States and the USGBC and all documentation for certification is submitted through the LEED online system.

Now how do we apply for this?

LEED Certificaion India process comprises of 4 stages.

i. Register the building with the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). Although the U.S. Green Building Council develops and manages the LEED rating systems, the GBCI is responsible for all certification applications

ii. USGBC provides checklists for each rating system that cover the prerequisites and credits.

iii. USGBC’s LEED online system provides online templates that must be completed for each prerequisite and credit, and is used to upload supporting documentation.

iv. Submit the documents to the GBCI for review and certification

See, isn’t it easy to give it a shot?

We will look into the LEED certification india levels now.

leed Certified: 40 to 49 points

        leed silver certification : 50 to 59 points

        leed  gold certification: 60 to 79 points

        leed platinum certification: 80 + points

All good. You are one step away from being the owner or resident of the best of best buildings in the world. I will break out the whole pointing system and the step by step activities to achieve them henceforth.

There are different categories in the rating system with the type of the building such as new constructions, existing buildings, hospitals, schools etc. I will be explaining the rating system of an existing building which contains common fields among all the systems.

The table given below shows the leed certification checklist and requirements that determine the total scores.

Leed certification check list
Leed certification check list


At the end of every upcoming section, make a clear mental picture of how you would actually feel when you gain the points in real life. Trust me, that’s a very good feeling.

Location and transportation

LEED Certification - Transportation
LEED Certification – Transportation

According to the Study by world bank, transport currently accounts for a quarter of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Ouch! You and I must have put in a lot of effort to push transportation so hard that, it has reached at the coveted position (pun intended). Whatsoever, the latest version v4.1 of LEED rating system has placed transportation in the forefront to measure the eco friendliness of your building. The pointing structure is given below.

Transportation Performance ScoreLEED Points
40 (Required)6 (Required)
47       7

So how you can crack this?

  1. Introduce telecommuting and compressed workweeks (Yes, what’s impossible with the technology you have.)
  2. Commute in mass transit and make use of navel options such as rideshare.
  3. Leverage human-powered conveyances, carpools, vanpools in the round trips.
  4. Use low-emitting, fuel-efficient or alternative-fuel vehicles, walking or bicycling

Hey, we have confronted a major here. You have 14 points in handy now. Moving on,

2. Sustainable sites

We saw how to choose the most suitable site for your building in another blog on green building GREEN BUILDING: HOW TO MAKE A BUILDING GREEN AND BENEFITS OF A GREEN BUILDING. In this section, As the LEED full form says, they want you to be a leader and shower the wisdom of not disturbing nature. The section is subdivided into 6 categories.

i. Site management

You can grab the point by,

a. Monitor and eradicate invasive and exotic plant species from natural habitat areas.

b. Manage snow and ice in ways that limit degradation of water quality, surrounding plants and soil health from chemical deicer applications.

c. Prevent erosion by maintaining vegetative cover, and restore any eroded soils.

d. Reduce noise and air pollution resulting from gasoline powered equipment.

e. Divert from landfills 100% of plant material waste for composting reuse.

f. Reduce fertilizer use to only as needed for plant health applications based on soil testing. Eliminate preventive applications of herbicides, pesticides and fungicides applying only as needed for occurrences.

g. Prepare an Integrated Pest Management plan.

h. Add one or more inches of organic matter mulch, such as compost, to soil surfaces in planting areas annually.

i. Irrigate vegetation, other than planted containers, only with automatic controlled systems utilizing either rain shutoff, moisture sensing or weather based controls.

j. Monitor irrigation systems at least bi-weekly during the operating season and correct any leaks, breaks, inappropriate water usage, or incorrect timing.

k. Store materials and equipment to prevent air and site contamination

ii. Light pollution reduction

This is introduced to make sure that your building provides necessary features to improve the visibility of night sky.

To conquer this, you need to,

a. Shield all exterior fixtures such that the installed fixtures do not directly emit any light at a vertical angle more than 90 degrees from straight down

b. Measure the night illumination levels at regularly spaced points on the project boundary, taking the measurements with the building’s exterior and site lights both on and off.

iii. Heat island

Well, there are islands at different places around the globe. But the dangerous among them is the heat island, which is the increase in heat due to human (not humane) activities.

Not a good thing, right?

Hmm. How to score the point here?

For non-roofs,

  1. Grow plants that provide shade over paving areas on the site
  2. Vegetated planters.
  3. Shade with structures covered by energy generation systems, such as solar thermal collectors, photovoltaics, and wind turbines.
  4. Shade with architectural devices or structures Shade with vegetated structures.
  5. Paving materials with a three-year aged solar reflectance (SR) value of at least 0.28.
  6. Open-grid pavement system
  7. If newly installed, plant material must be in place to provide full vegetative cover within 3-years.
  8. Have in place a maintenance program that ensures all high-reflectance surfaces are cleaned at least annually to maintain good reflectance

iv. Rainwater management

If there is a lesson you were taught extensively from a very young age and still you have not embraced in your life, I bet that’s managing rain water. This is the wakeup call for you. Rise up and bring yourself to adopt those wonderful techniques. Make sure you do it right with the article RAINWATER HARVESTING; EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

 3. Water efficiency

LEED Certification - Water Efficiency
LEED Certification – Water Efficiency

This section tests whether you adopt measures to reduce wastage of water and actually care for the universal liquid. The chart below shows the points for water performance score. If you adopt ways to conserve water, by presuming a life in every drop of water that gets wasted due to your water management practices, you can score full marks here.

The water performance score is calculated from the data shown by the energy meters in 12 months. Reboot yourself to get there.

Water Performance ScoreLEED Points
40 (Required)6 (Required)

4. Energy and atmosphere

Energy efficiency is a sister topic of every cost effective building. Well, buzz words are not always a good signage.

i. Energy efficiency best management practices

Take a tight grip on your energy management practices as follows.

a. Choose energy efficient appliances and electronics

b. Switch to energy efficient lighting sources

c. Reduce the energy consumption by sustainable construction practices

ii. Fundamental refrigerant management

This subsection takes into consideration the remedial measures to reduce ozone depletion. The best way is not use chlorofluorocarbon- based refrigerants in heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration. But if you have already had them, you really need to be cautious about this.

iii. Energy performance

In energy performance, the total score of 33 splitted as 16.5 leed points for green gas emissions and the remaining for source energy. Reduce the total building energy consumption arising from electricity, natural gas, chilled water, steam, fuel oil, etc. 

iv. Enhanced refrigerant management

To gain the scores, do not use refrigerants, or use only refrigerants (naturally occurring or synthetic) that have an ozone depletion potential of zero and a lower global warming potential as I said before.

v. Grid harmonisation

Let’s go straight into how to manage this sticky spot.

a. Implement techniques to make energy generation and distribution systems more efficient, increase grid reliability, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions

b. Participate in demand response techniques that provide an opportunity for consumers to shift their electricity usage during peak periods in response to time-based rates or other forms of financial incentives.

c. Have infrastructure in place to take advantage of future demand response programs or dynamic, real-time pricing programs.

d. Develop a comprehensive plan for shedding at least 10% of the annual on-peak electricity demand.

You know, you have earned 63 scores so far. Good.

5. Materials and resources

LEED Certification - Materials and Resources
LEED Certification – Materials and Resources

There are  4 subsections to this.

i. Purchasing policy

You need to initiate activities to reduce the environmental impacts of materials and products purchased during operations and maintenance of building. Have in place an environmentally preferable purchasing policy for materials and products purchased for the project during regular operations including ongoing consumables such as the five most purchased product categories based on total annual purchases, batteries, food and beverage and electronic equipment such as lamps, office equipment and appliances.

ii. Facility maintenance and renovations policy

Here, take action to reduce harming environment during purchase of items while renovating which can be,

a. Adopting a policy for waste management for safe storage, recycling and diversion of waste and also for furniture waste management during renovations.

b. Protecting stored on-site and installed absorptive materials from moisture damage.

c. Developing a plan to determine whether a flush-out or air quality testing is needed after construction ends and all interior finishes are installed but before occupancy.

iii. Waste performance

Track and reduce the waste generated aiding proper disposal or incineration.

iv. Purchasing

The points to keep in mind while purchasing products are,

a. Opt for recycled and reusable materials and products, those having extended use, bio- based products especially during construction and paper and wood products

b. Choose electronic components with energy star rating

c. Have locally sourced, promoting sustainable agriculture and organic food

d. And never mind about wine, beer, and liquor purchases in the point calculations.

6. Indoor environmental quality

LEED Certification - Environmental quality
LEED Certification – Environmental quality

The quality of air comes next.

i. Minimum indoor air quality

For spaces with mechanical exhaust, test and confirm proper operation of the exhaust systems

ii. Environmental tobacco smoke control

This can be tamed with the following considerations.

a. Prohibit smoking in the building.

b. Prohibit smoking outside the building except in designated smoking areas from all entries, Also prohibit smoking outside the property line in spaces used for business purposes.

c. Communicate the no-smoking policy to occupants of the building and have in place provisions for enforcement.

iii. Green cleaning policy

Yes, again another policy. You need to promote the following in the policy.

a. Standard operating procedures for effective cleaning of hard floors and carpets that will be consistently used, managed, and audited.

b. Provisions for addressing protection of building occupants during cleaning, including vulnerable populations.

c. Guidelines for selection and appropriate use of disinfectants and sanitizers.

d. Guidelines for safe handling and storage of cleaning chemicals used in the building, including a plan for managing hazardous spills and mishandling incidents.

e. Strategies for reducing the toxicity of the chemicals used for laundry, ware washing, and other cleaning activities.

f. Strategies for conserving energy, water, and chemicals during cleaning.

iv. Indoor environmental quality performance

Points for indoor environment quality are awarded based on the results from the CO2 and TVOC measurements. You have no worries here since you have prepared well for the test.

v. Green cleaning

USGBC wants to check your performance in cleaning the building through this step.

a. Perform routine inspection and monitoring of the facility’s green cleaning policy to verify that the specified strategies are being used and to identify areas in need of improvement.

b. Conduct an annual audit to evaluate yourself

c. Have in place permanent entryway systems in the primary direction of travel to capture dirt and particulates entering the building at regularly used exterior entrances.

vi. Integrated pest management

This is to minimize pest problems and exposure to pesticide. You can use integrated pest management services for the building and grounds within the project boundary that is certified and in good standing with GreenPro, EcoWise, GreenShield, or local equivalent.

6. Innovation

LEED Certification - Innovation
LEED Certification – Innovation

This is to encourage projects to achieve exceptional or innovative performance. To encourage integration of LEED expertise and collaboration toward project priorities.

That’s it about the LEED. For any further information you may check https://www.usgbc.org/leed/v41

Hearty congratulations on your achievement!

So, have you decided to test the relationship between your bulding and nature through leed?


  1. Welcomhotel Amritsar, the hospitality chain’s leisure upper-upscale property becomes Punjab’s first LEED platinum certified hotel
  2. USGBC released Annual LEED-Certified Ranking list of buildings for 2019 and Colorado topped the list with 102 certified projects.
  3. GBCI released the list of top 10 states for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in India today and Maharashtra topped in the project with 307 projects as of December 2019.

Vincivil FAQ Corner

A. Lead certification course             

These are courses done to become a green associate who can build up a career on consultancies exploiting the current green building principles and practices. There are plenty of courses out there like the online courses offered by Udemy.

B. Leed certification India

GBCI manages the certification process for all LEED rating systems in India, including the LEED India rating system.

C. Leed certification India cost

The leed certification fee varies with the category. Check out the complete details here. https://www.usgbc.org/tools/leed-certification/fees

D. Leed certification India exam

Leed green association exam is the required exam. See the complete details in https://www.usgbc.org

Buildings with leed certification

There are a lot of leed certification buildings around the world and list grows at a good pace every year. Salt Lake City Library, Salt Lake City, Soldier Field in Chicago, One Bryant Park in New York City, Shanghai Tower in China are famous among them.

Credits: The technical specifications annotated in the blog post is taken from the website of USGBC (https://www.usgbc.org)

Disclaimer: The blog is intended to assist those who wish to get their building LEED Certified and the shared knowledge other than the technical specifications is strictly upon the knowledge of the author. We can’t take the responsibility of any sort of discrepancy pertaining to this in future.

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