On October 7, 2008, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded the Academy a Platinum-level LEED certification.The program, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), was launched by the council in 1998. The program enables all segments of the building industry to seize the opportunity for leadership by implementing nationally recognized guidelines for sustainable design and construction. In addition to demonstrating the values of the Academy, a LEED-certified building costs less to operate and maintain and—compared to a conventional building—can make a significant impact in reducing carbon emissions.
Points for the coveted LEED certificate are awarded in five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. The U.S. Green Building Council offers four levels of LEED certificates (Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum). They range from Certified, in which 50% of the points are achieved, to Platinum, in which 80% or more of the points are awarded.
The Academy is now the largest public Platinum-rated building in the world, and also the world’s greenest museum with a total score of 54 points.