LEED certification, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, requires that buildings meet exceptionally high green building performance standards. Different categories of LEED eligibility apply to existing buildings, new construction, retail, schools, and several other distinct building types.The LEED rating system designates four certification levels for new construction: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Certification is granted based on the number of points or credits in design areas that incorporate the selection of a sustainable building site, the design’s water efficiency, efficiency of energy, sustainable materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Meeting the basic LEED standards places buildings at the LEED Certified level, and meeting exemplary standards gives buildings the rank of Silver, Gold, or Platinum.
LEED certified buildings often cost less to operate, and they have a less harmful effect on the environment than conventionally designed and operated buildings. LEED buildings reduce waste, conserve water and energy, and generally use less harmful building materials. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, businesses can stand out from competitors, increase business rental rates, and attract tenants more easily with LEED certification. Colloquial evidence indicates that LEED certification is becoming a standard requirement for tenants looking for space to lease, putting pressure on building owners to apply for LEED certification.
The District’s Green Building Act of 2006 sets forward-looking green performance standards for the city’s public, publicly financed, and private buildings. Publicly owned or financed non-residential building projects involving new construction or major renovations must meet LEED Silver Standards. In 2012, all new non-residential construction over 50,000 square feet will be required to meet the LEED Certified standard. Therefore, the Act’s requirements for private sector buildings, which are the vast majority of our city, will soon take effect.
This indicator is a quarterly-updated count of the number of LEED registered projects and LEED certified (including counts of LEED certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum) projects, as well as the number of LEED certified projects per capita in the District. This data is provided by the United States Green Building Council.
What Influences this indicator?
The desire to reduce operational costs or environmental impact may influence building owners to apply for LEED Certification, as does the desire for market differentiation and meeting tenant expectations. The number of LEED registered and certified buildings in the District has been rising exponentially since 2007 in response to the combined demands of District legislation, a federal government preference for leasing in LEED-certified buildings, and market demand. The number of LEED-certified buildings will continue to increase with the 2012 certification requirement.
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Related indicators: CO2e Levels, Waste Diverted from Landfills, ENERGY STAR Buildings
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