The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification program has just reached a very impressive milestone: this U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) programme has more than two billion sq. ft. of certified properties on the planet. Along with these properties, another seven billion sq. ft. of real estate are listed as LEED registered projects.
Two million sq. ft. of commercial building space is given the LEED certification standard every day. These green building projects have been completed in more than 130 countries. To date, approximately 50,000 commercial real estate projects have taken part in the LEED building program.
LEED provides third-party verification that a building, a large project, or even an entire a community was designed or constructed using materials which will reduce the amount of waste materials sent to landfills, use less energy and water, and provide a healthier environment for occupants. LEED-certified buildings also qualify for zoning allowances, tax rebates and other incentives in hundreds of municipalities.
The LEED program is used by a number of professionals, including architects, engineers, interior designers, and landscape architects. Facility and construction managers, real estate agents, government officials, and lenders can all play a role to ensure that sustainability is at the forefront of plans for new construction. From site selection to choosing building materials and making choices about appliances and fixtures, the LEED program has a part to play throughout the building cycle.
Adopting a greener building philosophy makes good sense for the local economy too; this shift helps to create green jobs. Architects, designers, and construction workers are needed who can work with materials needed to create these healthier buildings.
According to Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC, “The journey to this milestone has energised our economy-funneling $554 billion annually into the U.S. economy alone-and has helped support 7.9 million jobs across the U.S.”
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