WASHINGTON - More than 500 building projects have certified through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Volume Program since the pilot launched in 2006, according to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The LEED Volume Program is said to streamline the certification process for high-volume property owners and managers, from commercial real estate firms, national retailers and hospitality providers, to local, state and federal governments.

Utilizing a prototype-based approach, the program enables large-scale organizational builders and operators to deliver a consistent end product, earning LEED certification faster and at a lower cost than would be possible with individual building reviews, said the organization. The certification program was designed to meet industry needs for a streamlined approach to certifying like buildings and spaces across a company’s portfolio.

“Companies with a large collection of new builds or existing buildings are using the LEED Volume Program to transform their portfolios at a faster rate through a cost-effective, efficient process,” said Scot Horst, senior vice president, U.S. Green Building Council. “Reaching this milestone underscores the industry’s demand for high-performing, green buildings portfolio-wide and allows us to move further, faster towards our goal of transforming the built environment.”

“Cushman & Wakefield is proud to be one of the first real estate service providers to achieve LEED Volume precertification for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance,” said John Santora, president and CEO of Client Solutions, Cushman & Wakefield. “The LEED Volume Program benefitted both our Corporate Occupier and Investor clients by providing a streamlined and cost-effective approach to certification that educated and empowered our management professionals to implement sustainable operations and practices at our properties.”

“Volume precertification for Existing Buildings: O&M has allowed Bentall Kennedy to successfully increase portfolio-wide sustainability, while meeting growing tenant demand for LEED-certified buildings,” said Christian Gunter, vice president of Responsible Property Investing at Bentall Kennedy. “On behalf of its clients, Bentall Kennedy has certified more than 8 million square feet of Class A office space representing over $1.5 billion in market value, while reducing annual water use by 13.4 million gallons and achieving estimated energy savings of $1 million.”

USGBC said the program is flexible in allowing owners to define the criteria for grouping similar buildings and the prototype LEED credits they plan to pursue. The volume approach also facilitates bulk purchasing and advance ordering of materials, reduced consultancy requirements, more efficient internal processes, greater speed to market and more precise documentation of corporate sustainability efforts.

Later this year, USGBC will introduce volume certification for existing buildings’ operations and maintenance, currently in pilot. For more information about the LEED Volume program, visit www.usgbc.org/LEEDvolume.

Publication date:03/14/2011