Construction Corner

LEED vs Energy Star

A growing number of people have heard of the Energy Star and LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) programs. Energy Star and LEED are helping to change the way we design, build, and operate better buildings. With energy costs likely to continue rising in the future, these programs will be talked about even more often. So what is the difference between LEED and Energy Star?


LEED operates through the U.S. Green Building Council, USGBC, and takes a broad “triple bottom line” approach considering people, planet and profit, not just energy use. The triple bottom line factors in the economic, environmental and social issues present throughout the entire building process from concept, design, development and future operation. LEED is an internationally recognized program.

LEED was created as a way to define high performance green buildings, set quantifiable targets and goals, recognize leaders, promote improvement over time, stimulate green competition and raise consumer awareness.

LEED is a highly quantified and systematic approach to buildings of all types. Because it has accomplished so much and been so broadly accepted, LEED is becoming the standard by which many green buildings are measured. LEED quantifies a building’s performance in the following major categories:

  • Sustainable building sites
  • Water efficiency
  • Energy and atmosphere
  • Materials and resources
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Innovation in design and operations

LEED and Energy Star are complimentary to each other. Buildings may be both LEED certified and Energy Star rated.


Energy Star is a government program administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Its initiative is to reduce green house gas emissions through energy efficiency. The program focuses solely on energy use and voluntary product labeling.

Energy Star is designed to measure a building’s performance, create energy use goals, and help monitor performance and energy efficiency.

  • Thermal Enclosure System
  • Efficient Heating and Cooling System
  • Water Management System
  • Efficient Lighting and Appliances

Reliant Construction and LEED
Reliant works towards certifying our projects when possible under the LEED system. We also use many Energy Star rated products in our Commercial applications as well as our homes putting the savings back into your pockets. We feel LEED better represents the broader green building values of sustainability, resource conservation, the environment and energy usage that define our company goals.

Under the LEED program, we have clients that want to perform 3rd party blower door tests to assess there projects Energy Performance Scores. We regularly receive some of the lowest scores in the state of Oregon.

Reliant is one of the recognized LEED certified single-family homebuilder in the state of Oregon. This demonstrates our continued commitment to sustainability, energy-efficiency and green building.

Reliant has an award winning Staff specializing in green building, remodeling and renovations in the market place. Come visit our staff that we may help you to personalize your next Project and keep you moving forward.

Sources:, Energystar.Gov
LEED© is a registered trademark of the U.S. Green Building Council. Energy Star© is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.