Building Owners Want Green Buildings but not LEED Certification

The global economy may be weak, but that is not stopping homeowners and commercial building owners from putting up green buildings.

At least 51%, of companies said that their buildings will be certified as green in 3 years or by 2015. That is a 28% increase from 2012 and a 13% increase from 2009.

The main motive behind going green is not so much the preservation of the environment but the financial advantages of going green. With smart windows and LED light bulbs among a few other innovations in the green construction, the case for green buildings has just gotten a lot stronger.

According to McGraw Hill Construction’s Harvey Bernstein, “It’s a business decision.” While the main reason for going green three years ago was to save the environment, the prevailing reason now is to improve health and productivity of the occupants, to lower operating costs, and to meet the demands of the market.

Another shift in attitude according to another report is the number of building owners applying for LEED certification—arguably the largest certification body on green construction. In a recent survey of corporate executives by Turner Construction, 90% were into green buildings for eco-friendliness, 84% were in it for lowering maintenance costs and 74% were primarily motivated for improvement of indoor air quality. And yet, the number of these executives looking to certify their projects with LEED is just 48%–in contrast to 2010’s 53% and 2008’s 61%.

This is because many construction firms and building owners no longer believe in the necessity of LEED. Citing the difficulty of the application process and the fact that the entire industry is starting to go green, the role of LEED in the industry may be shrinking.

Ironic as it may sound, LEED may be losing its relevance just when it starts to reach its goal—to increase the number of green buildings.

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