Independent Roofing Consultants
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Independent Roofing Consultants
Developing comprehensive roofing and waterproofing project documents. Learn More >
Independent Roofing Consultants
Independent Roofing Consultants
Independent Roofing Consultants
Clients get peace of mind in knowing all their projects and properties are in good hands. Learn More >
Independent Roofing Consultants
We provide a conditional assessment on a single building or comprehensive project management on multiple buildings. Learn More >

LEED Credits and Roofing
By Lynn Jardinico

What Every Building Owner Should Know

What is LEED?

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a certification program designed to assist developers, building owners, and maintenance personnel with developing programs for optimal use of natural resources via the Green Building Rating System™.

The program was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council with the goal of creating industry wide guidelines for transforming new and existing buildings into sustainable projects through conscientious design, construction, and operations.  The standards are set in 5 different categories:

  •   Sustainable site development
  •   Water savings
  •   Energy efficiency
  •   Materials/Resource selection
  •   Indoor environmental quality

What are LEED credits?

LEED points are available in each of the five categories based on 100 total points with 10 bonus points available.  Points are achieved by meeting various requirements in each of the categories.  Often several options are available to meet the requirement.  There are 21 possible points in Sustainable Site Development, 11 points in Water Savings, 37 points in Energy and Atmosphere, 14 points in Materials and Resources, and 17 possible points for Indoor Environmental Quality.  The bonus points are available for innovative Design (6) and Regional Priority (4).

Participation in the LEED program is strictly voluntary.  The ratings however, may enhance the perceived value of a particular building to those buyers or tenants seeking green friendly goals within their organization.

What categories of LEED credits apply to roofing materials?

In the LEED 2009 Green Building Rating System™, there are several potential categories available for roofing materials.  The potential credits fall under the Sustainable Site, Material and Resources, and Indoor environmental quality categories.

Under Sustainable Site Credit 7.2, 1 point may be awarded for installing roofing materials that reduce the heat island effect.  The materials must meet established solar reflectance index guidelines or be partial “green” (vegetated) roofs.  Under the Materials/Resource Selection Credit 4 roofing materials may achieve 1 – 2 points based on their recycled content.   Under the same category (Credit 4) if the roofing materials or a fraction of the materials has been “extracted, harvested or recovered, or manufactured” within 500 miles of the project for which they will be used, 1 – 2 points may be available for using regional materials.   For single ply roofing utilizing low VOC adhesives and sealants, the Indoor Environmental Quality Credit 4.1 may provide 1 additional point as “low-emitting” materials.

Available roofing materials may meet all, some or none of the criteria in these categories.  Each product must be individually qualified based on category requirements.  A roofing design professional can assist in specifying the materials for the optimum number of qualifying points. 

For detailed information on qualifications for each category, go to the U.S. Green Building Council website at