Milestone marks uptake amongst large-scale organizations to build and operate high-performing, green buildings
WASHINGTON, D.C.— 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 streamlines 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. 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,” says Scot Horst, senior vice president, USGBC. “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.”
“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,” says Christian Gunter, vice president of responsible property investing at Bentall Kennedy. “On behalf of its clients, Bentall Kennedy has certified more than eight 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.”
Acknowledging that organizations can best identify the uniformity and similarities of their projects, 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. To learn more about the LEED Volume program, visit the USGBC website.
About the U.S. Green Building Council:
The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 79 local affiliates, 16,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 162,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.
The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 40,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising over 7.9 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 114 countries. In addition, nearly 10,000 homes have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system, with more than 45,000 more homes registered. By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.