What Are the LEED Requirements for Commercial Building Deck Construction?


Through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, program, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) created a framework in which points are awarded to buildings that meet certain criteria regarding sustainability. Buildings can earn different levels of LEED certification depending on how many credits they earn.


LEED credits can be earned for different types of projects and buildings, including new construction or buildings undergoing major renovations, interior design and construction projects, special requirements for healthcare, schools, and retail facilities, and more.

With the LEED certification program, the USGBC created an integrated process for the early stages of design that brings design and construction teams together in order to create a sustainable final product. Understanding the requirements for LEED commercial building deck construction can help you increase the level of sustainability in the overall project, and help work toward LEED certification.

Let’s take a look at how LEED credits are earned and how LEED requirements may impact commercial building deck construction.

How Can a Building Earn LEED Credits?

Earning LEED credits begins at the beginning. In the early design stages, the USGBC encourages communication between all parties involved in the project, including the client, designers, engineers, construction personnel, and operators, as early as possible.

LEED credits can be earned across many different areas of the building, the building process, and materials, as well as through how the building uses and creates energy.

LEED Zero is a program that certifies buildings that achieve a net zero milestone — zero carbon emissions and net zero energy use, water use, and waste.

Buildings can earn LEED credits in a number of different ways:

  • Use of sustainable materials

  • Improvements in efficiency

  • Water reduction

  • Environmental protections like restoring habitats or rainwater management

LEED Certification Levels

  • Platinum = 80+ points

  • Gold = 60-79 points

  • Silver = 50-59 points

  • Certified = 40-49 points

LEED Commercial Building Deck Requirements

Commercial decks can help a project achieve LEED credits in a number of different ways. Please note, this is not a comprehensive list, and achieving LEED credits should be discussed by an integrated project team to determine the best course of action.

Commercial decks can earn LEED credits in the following ways:

  • Use products with Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) or products with an a compliant embodied carbon optimization report or action plan

  • Responsible sourcing of raw materials

  • Material ingredient reporting and/or material ingredient optimization

  • Construction and demolition waste management
    • Diversion of at least 50% of total construction and demolition materials away from landfills and incineration facilities

    • Waste prevention

  • Providing quality views of the outdoor natural or urban environment for 75% of all regularly occupied floor area

  • Innovation through strategies not addressed in the LEED green building rating system

  • Using a LEED Accredited Professional (AP) as at least one principal of the project team

  • Sourcing environmentally preferable products, including, but not limited to those that:
    • Meet requirements for local production

    • Contain at least 25% reclaimed material

    • Contain at least 25% post-consumer or 50% pre-consumer content

Are LEED Credits Important?

LEED buildings are more sustainable, healthier, and encourage more productivity in learning, working, and playing than standard buildings. LEED buildings also create less stress on the environment before, during, and after construction.

Achieving LEED credits can also help organizations qualify for grants and guide larger sustainability efforts.

How Aspire Pavers Can Help a Building Earn LEED Credits

Aspire Pavers are made with up to 95% post-consumer recycled rubbers and plastics. Our manufacturing process produces less energy and 95% less CO2 than conventional concrete paver systems. Construction scraps from our pavers can be recycled, and the pavers themselves are recyclable at the end of their life. They are also lightweight, weighing one-third of the weight of concrete pavers, which reduces transportation costs and cuts down on labor costs.

Aspire Comparison to Concrete Paver

In addition to helping the project earn LEED credits, Aspire Pavers also provide additional benefits:

  • They can be used in many applications, including rooftops, balconies, patios, decks, walkways, and driveways.

  • They can be used to resurface an existing patio, balcony, or deck which cuts down on demolition and waste.

  • There are a variety of colors and sizes to choose from and they can be arranged in many different configurations.

  • They are durable and resist stains, scratches, and cracks, so they are ideal for high traffic locations and places where people may be eating or drinking.

  • They can be installed in less than 40% of the time that it takes to install traditional concrete pavers, and our patented grid installation system is much easier to work with than traditional pedestal paver systems.

Contact the experts at Aspire today to see how our pavers can help you understand LEED commercial building deck requirements and earn LEED credits in order to contribute to a more sustainable future!