A Week in the Life of LEED Certification

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“A Day in the Life” has been ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as the 28th greatest song of all time. We enjoy statistics, .. although maybe not so much that college statistics class. Statistics offer a useful way to interpret information, including analyzing business opportunities.

This article is a statistical review of the LEED projects certified last week. This is a very unscientific consideration of all the non-confidential projects in the United States that achieved certification during the week of October 1 through October 7, 2013. (Given that the purpose of this analysis is to identify business opportunities, this article will not consider the almost 40% of all square footage pursuing LEED certification existing outside the U.S.)

  • In this one week, certified projects ranged from the CSX corporate headquarters to a KIPP private high school and a Whole Foods market to an U.S. Air Force base brig.
  • 45 projects were certified. Those 45 projects comprised 5,891,366 square feet in total of LEED certified space.
  • The smallest project was a 4,958 square foot Kum & Go convenience store in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the Certified level LEED NC Retail v2009 rating system participating in LEED Volume.
  • The largest project, developed by Atlanta based Industrial Developments International, was an 870,162 square foot speculative warehouse and distribution building in Olive Branch, Mississippi, at the Certified level LEED Core & Shell v2009.
  • The 45 projects were spread across 28 states. With 7 projects, California had the most LEED certifications, followed by Michigan with 3 projects. So, most of the 28 states had a single project certified; a fairly even distribution.
  • 24 of the projects, the largest number, were in the New Construction rating system. 8 were Existing Building projects, unexpectedly including 3 EB re-certifications; and 7 were certified under the Commercial Interiors rating system. 3 projects were LEED for Schools and there was 1 Core & Shell. All of which is somewhat surprising because in 2012 EB certified more than half of all floor area in the LEED system.
  • Of the projects, 2 were Platinum certified, 15 Gold certified, 22 Silver certified, and 6 Certified. At the low end, an NC v2.2 Silver project received 33 credits. And at the other extreme, an EB re-certification v2009 achieved 87 credits.
  • The credit achieved most in these projects was the EAc1 Energy Performance. And the 2nd most achieved credit was IEQc4.4 Low Emitting Materials – Paints and Coatings.
  • 22 of the 45 projects are owned by government and 10 of those are associated with the Department of Defense. 3 are owned by non-profits, including the Las Vegas Mobster Museum and the Lancaster YMCA.

As noted, this unscientific consideration of the projects in the U.S. that achieved certification last week is with the thought that there are opportunities throughout the environmental industrial complex and beyond to profit and thrive from the millions of square feet that will be LEED certified next week and the week after ..

And thank you to USGBC for making this data available.

Article by Stuart Kaplow, appearing courtesy Green Building Law Update.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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