How Does LEED Relate to Furniture?

There’s been a lot of discussion on LEED and LEED-certified buildings recently. But what exactly does that mean and how does it relate to furniture? This is reasonable question and certainly one worth exploring.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, is a globally accepted third-party certification program for sustainable building design and construction. While the US Green Building Council (USGBC) developed the program almost 20 years ago, LEED is now the world’s most widely used third-party verification program for green buildings.

The USGBC developed LEED to consider all aspects of buildings at any point in their development. Buildings seeking LEED certification earn points by addressing sustainability issues in several areas. Based on these points, projects can earn one of four levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

LEED-certified buildings use resources more efficiently, saving water, energy, and ultimately, money. This is why in less than twenty years’ time LEED has grown to become the global standard for sustainable building.


Recently, USGBC marked the release of LEED v4. LEED v4 aims to improve the overall community experience through its “bolder” and more flexible design.

LEED v4 achieves its mission through design. While thorough and far more comprehensive than we can report, here are four areas where LEED v4 improved upon LEED:

  • Increased focus on materials, what they contain and how they affect the environment
  • Offers a clearer picture on water efficiency, while estimating building use
  • Takes a more performance-based approach to indoor environmental quality to ensure improved occupant comfort
  • Emphasizes smart grid thinking by offering credits to projects participating in demand response programs.

Northland Furniture doesn’t only provide long-lasting, functional and practical pieces; we also recognize that as a member of the global community we have a responsibility of sensibility. With this in mind, here are a couple examples of how Northland uses LEED-friendly practices.


From our low-VOC, LEED-applicable water-based stains and finishes, to the local woods we source to limit our footprint and our use of blanket wrapping to limit packaging, sustainability is key at Northland.

Sustainable Woods

Northland uses both solid and engineered woods sourced from the Pacific Northwest, utilizing as much from the tree as possible while minimizing waste.

These are just a couple of more reasons to specify Northland on your next project, and how to potentially qualify your project for LEED credits.