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Green Building Is Growing Rapidly on U.S. Campuses, Says Expert

August 2, 2010
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Global Ecology Center, Stanford University. (Click on the image for an enlarged view.)

TUCSON, Ariz. - Based on a study of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) project database, Yudelson Associates has released a new white paper, “Green Building Trends in Higher Education,” stating that sustainable management, design, and operations are rapidly growing practices at American universities.

Green building consultant, Jerry Yudelson, principal of Yudelson Associates, said that American campuses now host more than 3,000 LEED-registered projects, about 15 percent of the total of all LEED projects. Moreover, with nearly 600 LEED-certified projects, he said American colleges and universities are demonstrating their commitment to sustainable practices.

According to the new white paper, based on end-of-2009 data from the U.S. Green Building Council, the four leading campuses for LEED project registrations are, in order, the University of Florida, Harvard University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Washington. The rapid growth in LEED registrations at leading campuses is said to come from their adoption of LEED as a way of certifying the sustainability of campus operations.

Yudelson noted, “LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED EBOM) project registrations have become increasingly popular over the past several years.” In the view of Yudelson Associates, this is a promising change, as almost all of the building stock on college campuses already exists in any given two- to five-year period. Reducing the impacts of existing buildings is critical to meeting carbon emissions reduction, efficiency, and green building goals.

Girvetz Hall, University of California at Santa Barbara. (Click on the image for an enlarged view.)

Jaimie Galayda, Ph.D., research director at Yudelson Associates, assisted in the preparation of this white paper. Galayda said that there is more going on at the campuses than just LEED certification. “Going beyond the LEED rating system, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) recently released its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS). This new campus sustainability rating system incorporates a number of criteria that evaluate green building achievements.”

In addition, the white paper notes that the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s (SEI’s) Green Report Card ranks campuses according to their sustainable achievements. Several of their criteria address green buildings specifically. The growing popularity of these rating and ranking systems is putting more pressure on campuses to build green, along with their interest in saving money by operating buildings more efficiently.

The “Green Building Trends in Higher Education” white paper can be downloaded from the Free Resources section of the Yudelson Associates website at www.greenbuildconsult.com/books/#new.

Yudelson Associates is a leading international firm engaged in sustainability planning and green building consulting. The firm’s founder, Jerry Yudelson, is one of the nation’s leading green building and sustainability consultants. He is the author of 12 green building books and is a frequent speaker at industry and professional conferences. For more information, visit www.greenbuildconsult.com.

Publication date: 08/02/2010

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