LEED is a form of building certification meaning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED ratings are categorized into five main types: Building Design and Construction, Interior Design and Construction, Building Operations and Maintenance, Neighborhood Development and Homes. In order to receive certification, a project must follow certain prerequisites. After meetings those prerequisites, buildings then earn points based on various elements in order to achieve higher levels of certification. Certificate levels range from Certified and Silver to Gold and Platinum.
The UAE has projects at all levels of certifications. Noteworthy buildings for the UAE in 2014 include: International Tower at Capital Centre, Saray-A Luxury Hotel and Resort, Panasonic Avionics, Dubai and Rosewood Abu Dhabi.
In the UAE, LEED and green building projects have gained tremendous popularity. This is partially due to the country’s increased focus on the environment and desire to expand its economic profile in non-oil sectors, such as construction and building. Within the country, there is a growing LEED community comprised over 80 organizations that are official members of the USGBC. The UAE also has the fourth largest professional labor force that works on LEED projects behind the top three LEED leaders - the United States, Canada and China.
Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of USGBC, applauded the UAE’s progress in the LEED community. Speaking of behalf of the USGBC, he stated that they see the UAE as the center of the green building industry in the Middle East and hope that the UAE’s success with inspire more green building development across the region.
On an international scale, LEED building is expected to rapidly expand over the next decade. This growth could have positive effects on both the global economy and the UAE’s national economy.