WASHINGTON — The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system has strong bipartisan support across the U.S., according to a recently released poll, conducted by Echelon Insights. The questionnaire, which was presented Feb. 2-6, surveyed 800 registered voters on both landline and cellular telephones.

The nationwide poll found that 79 percent of Republicans and 89 percent of Democrats support the use of LEED in buildings.

The poll also determined a strong majority supports the criteria LEED uses to determine a building’s sustainability, including saving money through energy and water efficiency and creating jobs.

“Americans on both sides of the aisle strongly support the increased efficiency and cost savings that result from implementing LEED,” said Taryn Holowka, senior vice president, marketing, communications, and advocacy, USGBC. “This poll highlights the great public demand for the continued use of green building standards to cut costs, improve human health, and reduce impacts on the environment.”

About 30 percent of Americans have heard of LEED by name. Once given information on the certification process, 83 percent of Americans strongly support using LEED to assess and encourage green building.

The poll also found that 77 percent of voters believe LEED buildings are healthier for the people who live, work, learn, and play in them, and 74 percent believe LEED buildings can save people money through cost-effective energy and water use. The latter finding was particularly bipartisan, with 70 percent of Republicans and 83 percent of Democrats agreeing with LEED’s cost-savings benefits.

The poll also tested voters’ support for government policies to encourage green building standards, including LEED. Overall support was strong, with 73 percent of voters agreeing government should have some green building standard in place, and 36 percent of voters endorsing LEED as a leadership standard much more than a generic standard.

Support for government using green building standards was stronger among Democrats (88 percent), though a majority of Republicans also supported government green building standards (64 percent support versus only 28 percent opposition to any government standards).

The survey was weighted by age, gender, and race to be a representative sample of voters nationwide. The margin of error is +/- 3.5.

Publication date: 4/6/2015 

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