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Master the Certifications & Ecolabels That Count for LEED

Sure, you can check the boxes and move on, but do you even know what those product certifications and ecolabels say and mean?
Paula Melton
October 17, 2022

cover of the BuildingGreen Guide to Building Product Certifications & Ecolabels

The cover of a new BuildingGreen guide

Image: BuildingGreen, Inc.
Part of the point of LEED certification is that it should incentivize all the right things. No need to second-guess the requirements: just fulfill those requirements and hang the plaque.

But here at LEEDuser, we’re all about digging in, making sure we understand the context, the nuances, and sometimes the critiques that come with LEED certification. One of those critiques is that people are encouraged to “chase points” without really caring about or fully understanding the intent of the credits.

I’ll admit that the whole point-chasing criticism has always bothered me a little. The rating systems are literally based on earning points. LEED exists to make doing the right thing easier and more efficient, consistently, without having to overthink anything or reinvent the wheel every time you start a new project. LEED started long before our current awe over “gamification” cropped up, but gamification is exactly what it is.

However, at LEEDuser, we still think LEED works best if the people who work on LEED projects understand the intent of each credit and use good judgment about which strategies truly meet that intent. For the Materials & Resources category and the Low-Emitting Materials credit, that means understanding product certifications and ecolabels—not just searching for them in an online database.

That’s where the BuildingGreen Guide to Building Product Certifications & Ecolabels comes in. This comprehensive resource looks at all the certs and labels accepted by LEED (plus many more, 36 in all). It’s designed to help you understand what certifications and labels offer and what they don’t.

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We’ve structured the information on each certification so that you can see at a glance what’s important. The nitty gritty details are there for you when you need them, but we’ve also pulled out our own take on each certification and ecolabel to help you cut to the chase.

Ultimately, this guide is designed to help you pick the products and materials that best align with your and your clients’ values and goals.

LEEDuser and BuildingGreen premium subscribers get a discount on this guide, which comes with three continuing education credits from AIA and GBCI.

Green Seal section from BuildingGreen Guide to Building Product Certifications & Ecolabels

An excerpt from the BuildingGreen Guide to Building Product Certifications & Ecolabels

Image: BuildingGreen, Inc.

Date updated: 
Monday, October 17, 2022

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