Skip to content

Expert Tips

LEED Credits for Use of Wood Products

Overview plus in-depth resource for understanding the contribution of structural wood products to LEED certification

The LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge-certified Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design / The Miller Hull Partnership with Lord Aeck Sargent / photo Jonathan Hillyer

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a popular green building rating system administered by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is intended to promote building design practices that offer environmental, social, and governance benefits. LEED operates on a 110-point scale, with points awarded for meeting criteria outlined within the LEED system. Certification is based on the number of points achieved, as follows:

  • LEED Certified:          40 – 49 points
  • LEED Silver:               50 – 59 points
  • LEED Gold:                60 – 79 points
  • LEED Platinum:          80 – 110 points

The current version of LEED is v4.1. It was initially launched in 2018 and officially superseded v4 on July 1, 2022.

Designers are often curious as to how the use of structural wood products can help them obtain LEED points. To help answer that question, WoodWorks commissioned Dovetail Partners to write a report titled “LEED v4.1: Understanding the Changes and Implications for Wood Use,” which builds on their 2014 report on LEED v4. The newer report outlines the various ways wood products are currently recognized and how wood use can contribute 10-12 points under LEED v4.1. It also looks to the future, discussing how the full benefits of wood products could be recognized under LEED v5. LEED v5 is currently under development. Information about its status and opportunities to provide feedback are available on USGBC’s website.