LEED Interns

Academic Credits





2101 L St., NW
Suite 500
United States


As the premier benchmark for high-performing green buildings, the LEED rating system continues to transform the market both in the US and internationally. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., seeks a passionate, sustainability-minded student to fill the LEED Intern position. The LEED Intern directly supports LEED department operations by contributing to projects including, but not limited to, committee operations support, rating system development projects, and market research. This position is located in USGBC’s world-class headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The people who work on the LEED rating system represent the spectrum of industries making up the built environment, from engineering, analytics, architecture and urban planning to finance, real estate development, manufacturing, indoor environmental quality, and building performance and technology. Our common trait is that we share a commitment to a sustainable future by transforming the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated.

Areas of Focus

The LEED intern will support the technical development of one LEED credit category, conducting market research, synthesizing information, and developing and executing research proposals with the goal of ensuring that LEED remains the premier global benchmark for green buildings. The LEED credit categories include:

  • Energy and Atmosphere (EA): the EA credit category address building energy use from a holistic perspective, addressing energy use reduction, energy-efficient design strategies, and renewable energy sources. Research topics could include new metrics for assessing building energy performance, exploring connections between climate change and the built environment, and international criteria for renewable energy procurement.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ): the EQ credit category addresses the myriad design strategies and environmental factors that impact occupant comfort in a space, including air quality, temperature, lighting, acoustics, and control over one’s surroundings. Research topics could include exploring connections between the indoor environment and occupant health and comfort, natural ventilation strategies, indoor air quality testing strategies, and international or cultural variations in the definition of indoor air quality.
  • Location and Transportation (LT): the LT credit category rewards thoughtful decisions about building location, with credits that encourage compact development, alternative transportation, and connection with amenities. Research topics could include cutting-edge modes of transportation, connections between land-use patterns, development density and human health, the transportation industry’s impacts on climate change, and international standards and best practices for building location and occupant transport.
  • Materials and Resources (MR): the MR credit category focuses on a life-cycle approach to building material performance and resource efficiency, with credits that intend to minimize the embodied energy and other impacts associated with the extraction, processing, transport, maintenance and disposal of building materials. Research topics could include corporate sustainability reporting for manufacturers and suppliers, best practices for building material ingredient disclosure and optimization, innovative waste management programs and best practices, and whole building life cycle assessment.
  • Sustainable Sites (SS): the SS credit category rewards decisions about the environment surrounding the building, with credits that emphasize the vital relationships among buildings, ecosystems, and ecosystem services. Research topics could include performance metrics for ecosystem services, case studies on diverse and regenerative landscapes within the built environment, and best practices for low-impact development and green infrastructure.
  • Water Efficiency (WE): the WE credit category addresses water holistically, emphasizing an “efficiency first” approach to water conservation and looking at indoor use, outdoor use, specialized uses, and metering. Research topics could include innovative strategies and systems for on-site building water reuse, exploring connections between building water quality and human health, and international codes and standards for building water systems design and operation.

Additionally, consistent with organizational priorities for LEED technical development, the LEED Intern may contribute to and conduct research in support of development projects affecting multiple LEED credit categories, including project team documentation, innovative green building strategies, and international technical development work.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Compile and organize market feedback
  • Conduct market research, synthesize information, and develop and execute research proposals to support the technical development of one or more LEED credit categories
  • Organize and track project team and market feedback received during the v4.1 beta period
  • Propose solutions to LEED staff to address market feedback received
  • Compile credit and option level achievement data in order to inform technical development priorities
  • Support the timely execution of projects by tracking, generating and delivering to LEED staff reports on project status, accomplishments and challenges, and related metrics.
  • Collaborate with USGBC staff to develop and deliver high-quality research proposals and informational documents to LEED Committees

  • Technical development research
  • Perform research and provide deliverables in support of technical development goals and priorities
  • Support departmental projects and the development of LEED technical solutions that improve the usability and implementation of the rating system around the world.


Experience requirements

  • Interest in and knowledge of the LEED Green Building Rating System
  • Enjoys working with a dynamic team of change-makers in a fast-paced environment.
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills; able to produce brief, clear, and persuasive written communications.

Other required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent analytical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to multi-task, manage competing priorities, and thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment
  • Strong organizational and project management skills
  • Ability to establish and maintain strong interpersonal relationships with a diverse array of individuals and constituents
  • Commitment to USGBC mission

How To Apply

Please email jobs@usgbc.org or fax your resume and a letter of interest.

There are six different internships available based on the specific areas of focus listed below. In your cover letter, please specify if you have a preference.

  • Note the title of the position you are applying for.
  • Submit files as PDFs or Word documents.
  • Fax: 202-315-3949.
  • No phone calls, please.