February 22, 2013
A new study prepared for the United States Department of Defense (DoD) by the National Research Council has given the seal of approval on the importance of green-building certification programs as tools to reduce energy use and other operational costs. “This reaffirmed what we’ve been saying all along – that LEED makes good economic sense,” said Fleming Roberts, Associate, Policy & Advocacy at the US Building Council. “The report recommended that the Department of Defense should require its new buildings or major renovations to be designed to achieve at least LEED Silver certification.”
Based on a review of empirical studies related to energy-efficiency and green building standards, the report confirms that green building certification systems such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) offer frameworks for successfully reducing energy and water use in buildings. It reveals that on average, high performance buildings use 5-30 per cent less energy and 8-11 per cent less water than “conventional buildings.” The study also found that incremental costs to design and construct green buildings are relatively small when compared to total life-cycle costs.
The publication of the report follows an announcement by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) that it is seeking additional input from the public regarding the federal government’s use of third party green building certification systems and how certification systems can best be used to measure the design and performance of the federal government’s construction and major modernisation projects.
Said Roberts: “With over 100 million square feet of federal buildings LEED certified, and approximately 1,400 active LEED accredited professionals working in the federal government it’s clear that LEED is helping federal agencies and departments lead by example and achieve the many benefits of green building.”