Wednesday, September 08, 2010

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Something has gone up 15 times in the last 5 years. And it’s GOOD!

Can you guess what it might be?

NPR Reports that LEED Certification Takes the Lead

Green building now accounts for nearly one-third of new construction in the United States, up from 2 percent in 2005, according to McGraw-Hill Construction.

The key to being green is being LEED certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is the green building rating system developed by the US Green Building Council in 1998 to encourage environmental awareness.

Getting LEED certification can add about 4.7 percent to the cost of a project, according to studies by the University of Michigan. But for many businesses, getting LEED certification is worth the expense, says Andy Hoffman, a professor of sustainable enterprise at Michigan.

"They created a cachet around the LEED certification," he says. "And they got people to want to do this as a marketing pitch — and I think that was really a stroke of genius to get a rather inertial industry to start to shift."

Source: National Public Radio, Franklyn Cater (09/07/2010)

Some definitions and links to more information:

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

LEED for Neighborhood Development integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building into the first national system for neighborhood design.

Environmental design is the process of addressing surrounding environmental parameters when devising plans, programs, policies, buildings, or products.