LEED Certification

Greenroofs are a major component to certification in the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program administered by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED scores are used to certify eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable buildings across a range of construction categories that include resources, materials, and overall energy efficiency and sustainability. This certification is defined by specific features and criteria, but it also establishes “ecological cachet,” differentiating your structure from the next. LEED certification typically results in a number of financial advantages, such as property value increases, zoning allowances and tax rebates.   

LEED points are a great incentive to maximize your greenroof design—practically guaranteeing 2 LEED points if a greenroof system is installed on at least 50% of any rooftop surface, and typically generating additional points depending on the level of greenroof system. Fulfilling these requirements will increase LEED scores and result in a higher certification level. Explore the following credits:

Sustainable Sites 

SS Credit 5.1 (1 point) – Site Development 
Conserve or restore habitat with native plants by providing a habitat or promoting biodiversity without maintenance that includes mowing or chemical pollutants.

SS Credit 5.2 – Site Development 
Maximize projects in urban areas by providing a high ratio of open space to development footprint.

SS Credit 6.1 (1 point) – Stormwater Quantity Control 
Reduce stormwater discharge by more than 25%, through a stream channel protection strategy or stormwater management plan.

SS Credit 6.2 (1 point) – Stormwater Quantity Control 
Manage stormwater runoff to prevent disruption and pollution of natural water movement. 

SS Credit 7.2 (1 point) – Heat Island Effect and Reduction
Install a vegetated roof that covers at least 50% of the roof area.

Water Efficiency 
WE Credit 1.1- 3.3 (Up to 4 points) – Water Efficient Landscaping

  • Reduce potable water consumption for irrigation by 50%
  • Use only captured rainwater, recycled wastewater, recycled greywater for irrigation or install landscaping that does not require permanent irrigation systems 
  • Maximize water efficiency in buildings, reducing the burden on public water supply and wastewater through reuse of stormwater and greywater by 20%, 30%, or 50% (1 point each)

Energy and Optimization 

EA Credit 1 (Up to19 points) – Optimize Energy Performance  
Establish a minimum level of energy efficiency for the building and systems, showing a percentage of improvement compared with the building’s original energy related systems. 

Materials and Resources 

MR Credit 3 (Up to 2 points) – Material Reuse 
Use salvaged, refurbished, or reused materials containing at least 5% of the total value of materials in the greenroof systems project (based on cost). 

MR Credit 4 (Up to 2 points) – Recycled Content 
Use materials with recycled content containing at least 10% of the total value of the materials in the greenroof systems project (based on cost).

MR Credit 5.1 (Up to 2 points) – Regional Material 
Use building materials that have been obtained and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site for a minimum of 10% of the total materials value (based on cost).

Innovation in Design 
(Up to 5 points) 
Achieve prototypical or innovative performance beyond credentials in the target LEED rating system requirements—improving the environment, workplace, recreational space, or overall design. 

Green Roofs and LEED Certification
The U.S. Green Building Council