This week, SkyriseCities' 'Explainer' returns with a look at a term that often comes up here on UrbanToronto: LEED Certification. In evaluating new developments and retrofits of older buildings, energy efficiency and green standards are invariably important, and the LEED standards are frequently mentioned as a benchmark of environmentally friendly buildings. But what exactly is LEED Certification, and what's the methodology behind it? SkyriseCities has the answer:

Toronto's TD Centre was recently retrofitted to achieve LEED Platinum status, image by UT Forum contributor Abdulkadir A

While high-density living helps curb urban sprawl, the activities associated with the construction of these buildings have serious impacts on the environment. According to the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), about 35% of all greenhouse gases are attributed to buildings. The waste generated from the construction and demolition of buildings comprises 35% of the waste in landfills, and 70% of municipal water is consumed inside and around buildings. With environmental protection and sustainability becoming a top political priority in many countries, developers are looking at ways to make their buildings more green.

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