LEED Trend Losing Steam
By Briana Davis
In 1999, the U.S. Green Building Council initiated Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a benchmarking system intended to sway companies away from environmentally irresponsible construction and to create a common standard of measurement for green buildings. LEED measures building performance as it relates to five key divisions: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
Because HVAC professionals are essentially responsible for installing, maintaining, and in some cases designing systems for two of the five LEED tenets listed above (energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality), the HVAC industry has played a crucial role in this environmental construction movement.
Despite widespread popularity over the past several years, LEED certifications may soon start to dwindle. According to an annual Market Barometer survey conducted by Turner Construction company (the largest green builder in the U.S.), the desire for LEED certification is losing steam among real estate owners, developers, and corporate owner-occupants.
Though 90 percent of those surveyed voiced their continued commitment to environmentally sustainable practices, only 48 percent said they were very likely to seek out LEED certification on upcoming construction projects.
Despite declining enthusiasm for LEED, companies are still interested in building green. Only time will tell if and how this shift in priorities will affect the building design and construction industry.
Briana Davis writes for the McAlister Mechanical blog at http://mcalistermechanical.com.
Publication date: 12/17/2012