National – An in-depth study of 10 years of LEED design and development reveals the evolution of the best practices in architecture, engineering, and construction, as well as industry idiosyncrasies, according to the U.S. Green Building Council and Ember Strategies. The study examines LEED’s New Construction rating system for building design and construction, specifically looking at certain energy efficiency-related credits. The study found that as the number of LEED-certified buildings grew, relative efficiency achievement by certification level remained consistent at nearly 30 percent better than buildings built to base building codes. The study also found that design efficiency over the life of the rating system at all certification levels remains very consistent over the years. It is difficult to ascertain the extent to which LEED buildings have become more efficient over time when compared to buildings built to code, as those codes also are continually updated. Despite this difficulty, each version of LEED consistently beat the code by at least 20 percent over the past 10 years. Adding measurement and verification credits to LEED criteria will help LEED buildings realize their design potential, as will enhanced commissioning. Meanwhile, LEED credit achievement data helps motivate building professionals across the industry to design and build more efficient buildings, and USGBC is sharing this information through the Green Building Information Gateway.
Reprinted from GreenBiz.com (09/10/14) Burt, Lane Wesley