College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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LEED Standards

The Business Instructional Facility was built according to standards established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)-a Washington D.C.-based, nonprofit coalition of building industry leaders. This design standard is called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

LEED has grown to encompass over 14,000 projects in 50 states and 30 countries. It is an open process where technical criteria proposed by LEED committees are publicly reviewed for approval by more than 10,000 membership organizations that currently constitute the USGBC. Committees are composed of practitioners and experts representing a cross-section of the building and construction industry.

As a result of the BIF project's success, the University has decided to pursue LEED Silver certification on all new major construction, and has adopted this into their design standards.

How does LEED work?

  • Performance-oriented rating system where building projects earn points to satisfy criterion designed to address specific environmental impacts in the design, construction, operations and management of the building.
  • Projects earn points in the four categories (see below) to achieve certain certification levels:
    • Certified: 26-32 points
    • Silver: 33-38 points
    • Gold: 39-51 points
    • Platinum: 52-69 points
  • Business Instructional Facility intended to earn a gold certification, but has done so well it may reach the PLATINUM level of certification.

What are the benefits of LEED?

  • Green buildings use key resources more efficiently when compared to conventional buildings which are simply built to code.
  • Environmental, economic and occupant-oriented performance and health advantages reaped by anyone who comes into contact with the project including owners, designers, occupants and society as a whole.
  • Certified projects cost less to operate, maintain, are energy and water efficient, contribute to occupant health and productivity.
  • Certification signifies that the building is designed and is operating exactly as it was intended.

Why choose LEED Certification?

  • In the United States and in a number of other countries around the world, LEED certification is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability. Achieving LEED certification is the best way to demonstrate that a building project is truly "green".
  • Forms the basis for other sustainability systems such as the Environmental Protection Agency's Labs21.
  • Rafael Pelli, son of BIF architect Cesar Pelli, is responsible for the push to make the building energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

What is LEED for New Construction?

  • A Green Building rating system for buildings that is designed to guide and distinguish high performance buildings that have less of an impact on the environment, are healthier for those who work and/or live in the building, and are more profitable than their conventional counterparts.
  • Most commonly applied for certification
  • BIF is using LEED for New Construction Version 2.1
  • Promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas:
    1. 1. Sustainable site development
    2. 2. Water savings
    3. 3. Energy efficiency
    4. 4. Materials selection
    5. 5. Indoor environmental quality.

For more information about USGBC and LEED, please visit


UIUC College of Business