What is LEED?

Sustainable development is emerging as a major issue among cities and communities in the 21st century. As global climate change becomes an increasingly serious concern for the future and American dependence on foreign fossil fuels for energy creates greater international tension, an interest in high-efficienct, low environmental impact buildings has begun to transform the notion of building design, construction, and operation. As it stands, the more than 81 million buildings in the United States consume an extraordinary amount of resources while taking an enormous toll on the environment.

The City of Bloomington's EverGreen Village project is being developed as a LEED pilot project. For more information, see the EverGreen website

In the United States, buildings consume 1:

In the United States, buildings generate 2:

Click here for ideas on how to green your existing home, and read below for an introduction to green building.

What is green building?

Green building is an approach toward building design, construction, operation, and removal that seeks to reduce human impact on the environment while fostering healthy and comfortable communities. There is no single blueprint for green building; rather, it is a set of processes that may be adapted to best suit the needs of the particular project and community. Green building practices revolve around a few basic principles:

Green building is not a simple development trend; it is an approach to building suited to the demands of its time, whose relevance and importance will only continue to increase. The benefits to green building are many-fold, and may be categorized among three fronts: environmental, economic, and social.

Green Building in Bloomington

On March 25, 2009, the City Council formally adopted a Green Building Program Ordinance. This ordinance directed the City of Bloomington to incorporate green building principles into municipal facilities by committing to the use of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system, developed and awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), for projects involving city government buildings and facilities.

LEED is a guidance and evaluation system. It sets sustainability benchmarks and awards certification based on their application. Note that green building does not equal LEED certification; buildings need not necessarily be LEED-certified to be sustainable. Still, LEED provides a widely recognized measure of green building efforts. For more information, please see What is LEED?.

1.U.S. Green Building Council, "Green Building by the Numbers," 2008. Available at
2.U.S. Green Building Council, "Building Momentum: National Trends for High-Performance Green Buildings," 2003. Available at