Major milestone marks achievement for green building market
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced that the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) has certified the 10,000th LEED commercial project. Created in 2000, the LEED green building program has become a global symbol of sustainable building, certifying more than 1.4 million square feet of new and existing buildings every day.
"Business leaders around the globe are using LEED to design, build, maintain and operate their buildings," says Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. "Ten thousand commercial certified buildings stand as a powerful example that a strong triple bottom line translates to real, tangible success."
The Live Oak Family Resource Center in Santa Cruz, Calif., which was awarded LEED Platinum by GBCI, is the milestone project earning the 10,000th LEED certification. A vibrant community center, Live Oak Family Resource Center is a place for families to come for guidance, information and referrals on childbirth and parenting, health education and services, youth and senior programs, food distribution and other community needs.
"It seems an appropriate reflection of USGBC's mission of ‘green buildings for everyone within a generation’ that a LEED Platinum community center providing support services to local families would earn this special distinction," says Peter Templeton, president of the GBCI. “LEED-registered and -certified projects now number more than 100,000 globally. This number underscores the confidence people have in LEED for saving water, energy, resources and money, and for delivering healthier and more comfortable buildings for the people who occupy them."
Pilot-tested in 1998, LEED fully launched in 2000 as the first rating system for new construction and major renovation projects. Since then, LEED has evolved to offer rating systems for existing buildings, commercial interiors, core and shell projects, homes, healthcare facilities, schools, neighborhood developments and more. In 2008, USGBC introduced its Building Performance Partnership (BPP) to emphasize the importance of ongoing sustainable operations. BPP allows LEED projects to track and monitor their energy and water use over time so that the building continues to operate as intended.
USGBC also offers the LEED Volume Program for new and existing building owners who are looking to certify multiple projects like retail and hotel chains, bank branches and other similar project groupings.
“We've just scratched the surface of what's possible in the green building field," adds Fedrizzi. "In 10 short years, we've fundamentally changed how we construct and operate buildings and communities, and during that time LEED has continued to evolve, pushing sustainable building practice forward with each evolution. But there's much more to do. The market continues to embrace LEED as the leadership standard it was meant to be and our kids deserve the outcomes that green buildings contribute to their future."