USGBC’s LEED Zero program provides a path for buildings to distinguish themselves with a net-zero impact for carbon, energy, water, and/or waste. To pursue any of the LEED Zero certifications, a building must already be certified under LEED for Building Design and Construction (BD+C), LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (O+M), or be registered for LEED O+M. So, although it’s a stand-alone program, LEED Zero actually acts more like a complement or extra credential to your building’s standard LEED certification. For buildings with a BD+C certification, LEED Zero presents an alternative to LEED O+M for demonstrating a continued commitment to sustainability in operations.
Here are a few of the basics to keep in mind.