LEED has been growing in popularity in Ireland over the past number of years particularly amongst US multinationals. LEED was developed by the US Green Building Council inspired by the UK scheme BREEAM which predates it.
LEED is based on ASHRAE standards and requires ASHRAE simulation modeling to be undertaken, which may be unfamiliar to Irish design teams and can be time consuming (and therefore costly) familiarisation. LEED is not currently aligned with EU standards, however alternative compliance paths for Europe are being developed, including the use of metric and European standards. The main difference between LEED and other international systems is that it sets global benchmark to which all buildings relate. DGNB and BREEAM standards are based on how local standards are exceeded, so in the European context of higher energy standards indicate the best buildings in that country. It is important when certifying with LEED or other systems that you also follow IGBC guidance on NZEB (Near Zero Energy Building) compliance to ensure that the building is future proofed to meet the EU Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD) directive on NZEBs which impacts new developments to be let or sold to public sector clients from the end of 2018. This means you need to plan for this now.
The Irish Green Building Council is part of the International LEED round table. This develops alternative compliance paths for LEED for use in Europe and the regional priority credits.