The General Services Administration (GSA) concluded that the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED green building rating system can and should be used in government buildings to advance energy efficiency and to save taxpayers’ money. GSA issued its recommendation today based on the findings of the EISA §436(h) Ad-Hoc Review Group on Green Building Certification Systems.
“LEED continues to set a global example for market transformation,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC, which oversees LEED. “As the premier rating system in the world, LEED will continue to inspire people and set the bar for healthy, energy efficient and high-performing buildings.”
GSA’s decision comes a year after more than 1,250 businesses and organizations urged GSA to continue to use LEED to improve the energy and environmental performance of federal buildings. In February, the National Academy of Sciences released a report on green building certification systems that recommended that the Department of Defense construct its buildings to LEED’s Silver standard or the equivalent.
“At this point, it is unassailable, LEED works. It has played a significant role in GSA’s achievement of its energy and sustainability goals,” said Roger Platt, senior vice president, global policy and law, USGBC. “Any government agency that chooses to follow the private sector in using LEED certification does so because the result is better buildings and savings for the taxpayer.”
More than 1.5 million square feet of space is certified using LEED every day, making LEED the most widely used high-performance building program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of green buildings. More than 55,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising 10.4 billion square feet of construction space in more than 140 countries and territories. In addition, more than 46,000 residential units have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system.
A study by The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) found that GSA LEED certified buildings used 25 percent less energy than the national average and cost 19 percent less to operate. There are currently more than 4,000 LEED certified government projects, with another 8,000 in the pipeline as registered projects. A recent report from GSA shows the agency has successfully reduced its energy use by nearly 20 percent since 2003 and water use by almost 15 percent since 2007.