Square Footage of LEED-Certified Existing Buildings Surpasses New Construction
December 9, 2011

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified existing buildings are outpacing their newly built counterparts, according a December 7 news release from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). As of this month, square footage of LEED-certified existing buildings surpassed LEED-certified new construction by 15 million square feet on a cumulative basis.

Historically, USGBC has seen the stock of LEED-certified green projects overwhelmingly made up of new construction projects, both in volume and square footage. That began to change in 2008, when the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (O&M) program began experiencing explosive growth. In 2009, projects certified under LEED for Existing Buildings: O&M surpassed those certified under its new construction counterpart on an annual basis, a trend that continued in 2010 and 2011.

"This new data marks the first time that LEED-certified existing buildings have surpassed LEED-certified new construction cumulatively," says Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of USGBC, in the release. "The market is becoming increasingly aware of how building owners can get better performance through green operations and maintenance, and tools such as LEED for Existing Buildings: O&M are essential to cost-effectively driving improvements in our economy and environment. LEED as a rating system is continuing to evolve an ever greater emphasis on performance, not only in energy, but also water, location, indoor environmental quality, and materials."

A newly issued report by Capital-E found that efficiency financing has the potential to soar from $20 to $150 billion annually, creating over one million jobs, making the American economy more competitive, enhancing national security and helping slow the impacts of climate change.

By 2015, the green share of the largest commercial retrofit and renovation activity will more than triple, growing to 25 percent to 33 percent of the activity by value - a $14 to $18 billion opportunity in major construction projects alone, according to McGraw Hill Construction's Green Outlook 2011 report.

Click here to learn more about existing LEED buildings.

Subscribe to USGlass magazine.
Subscribe to receive the free e-newsletter.