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LEED was launched in an effort by the United States Green Building Council to develop a “consensus-based, market-driven rating system to accelerate the development and implementation of green building practices.” The LEED rating system has five main credit categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Each category is divided into credits, which correspond with possible points. The rating is based on the entire building system, and not on any individual product. The most important and direct contribution by ICFs is toward the energy optimization credit, which offers up to 10 points. This is the only credit with so many points possible, and represents a significant portion of the overall 69 point possible. The Energy Optimization Credit is based on the percentage of energy savings above the ASHRAE benchmark. The energy savings benefits of ICFs can play a significant role in the gaining of these points. ICFs and concrete can also contribute toward credits for recycled materials, sustainable sites, regional materials, and durable structures.

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