Summer Semester 2011
According to a “go green” blog named 2B Green World Website-LEED Consultants, “buildings represent over 50% of US wealth; $800 billion is the amount of renovation and new construction in the United States, buildings account for 1/6 of the worlds freshwater withdrawals, ¼ of its wood harvest and 2/5 of its material and energy flow” (Go Green Facts 1).These figures represent the disadvantages of a world without green building. Throughout this report the focus is on LEED certification and accreditation, and the impact LEED has on several different service firms. The report begins with background information about the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED, and LEED certification and rating systems. Following this, will be several different articles regarding the impact that LEED has on the building owner and the building industry as a whole. How LEED also impacts new construction projects, while at the same time targeting local and state governments and assisting them through grants. As well as, the real estate industry and the impact it has in the long-run through higher rents and lower operating costs. Background
The idea of sustainable building came to light during the energy crisis and the growing concerns over environmental pollution and human health in the early 90’s. However, back then people did not have the information, technology or funds that we have today to make an impact. There are a number of motives to building LEED Certified including, saving energy, using less water, better indoor air quality, and recycling. Not only are the advantages to the environment but they are also reflected in the bottom line, which unfortunately is what everyone really wants to achieve.
In 1993 the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) was co-founded by Mike Italiano, David Gottfried and Rick Fedrizzi. The USGBC is a non-profit trade organization that promotes sustainability in how buildings are designed, built, and operated. . In 2010 the USGBC had more than 18,500 member organizations from every division of the building industry. The USGBC is best known for the development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating systems and Greenbuild, a green building conference and expo that promotes the green building industry (U.S Green Building Council). In 2000 the USGBC launched LEED to provide a common definition and a way to measure green buildings (U.S. Green Building Council). LEED is an internationally recognized third-party certification system. The structure is based on a point system that rates buildings according to key environmental attributes such as site impacts, energy and water use, materials and resource conservation and indoor environmental quality (U.S. Green Building Council). When LEED was launched it was the first rating system in the United States to hold commercial projects up to an analysis for a full range of their effects on energy and water use, community infrastructure, transportation energy use, resource conservation, land use, and indoor environmental quality (U.S. Green Building Council). LEED is a combination of best practices from a wide variety of disciplines including architecture, engineering, interior design, landscape architecture and construction (U.S. Green Building Council). It is a mixture of performance standards and perception standards but it is weighted toward the performance side (U.S. Green Building Council). LEED’s mission statement holds that best practices are better shown by results than by efforts alone.
In 2000 when LEED accreditations and certifications were used to forecast savings from the first LEED-certified projects the numbers spoke for themselves. They showed that well-designed, fully documented and third-party verified projects had gotten increasingly better savings in the long-run (U.S. Green Building Council). According to the forecast, there was a decrease...