Amyriad of choices are evolving in the green building arena. The number of products, rating sys- tems, and resources available is
unprecedented. Increasing pressure from
buyers to show tangible proof of environmental and energy efficiency has led to a
range of rating systems for building certification. But some systems can be difficult to
navigate, be time-consuming to implement, and carry significant added soft and
hard costs. In our efforts to document and
certify, are we moving away from the underlying reason for green building?
Distilled to its essence, green building is
For the money
designed to reduce the overall impact of the
built environment on human health and
the natural environment. But a question
emerges that may make some lesser-known
green building certifications worth consid-
ering: What is your real motivation for cer-
tifying a project’s construction? Here are
considerations for each motivation.
Most retail environments professionals
have heard of Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED). The developer of this suite of standards, the U.S.
Green Building Council (USGBC), has set
a goal for LEED to become the global stan-
dard in green building rating systems. It’s
well on its way with some 60,000 projects
across the globe including those already cer-
tified, those registered, and Neighborhood
Development projects. LEED projects rep-
resent 6. 4 billion sq. ft. of U.S. building
space, and 40% of square footage pursuing
LEED is now outside of the U. S.
Because of LEED’s global stature and
the politically active USGBC, you may find
financial benefits to using this system
for certification. Federal tax credits, util-
ity credits, IRS deductions, and expedited
building permits are often favored for
By DeAnn Campbell
Many retail projects, like this Daily Juice store in Austin, Texas, use LEED consultants even though they’re not seeking certification. Following LEED
standards can help you green your project even if you don’t want to incur the administrative costs of certifying.
50 Shades of Green