The Unbridled Growth of the Green Building Industry
10 Billion. That’s billion with a ‘B.’ That’s how many square feet of green building projects have been LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). This astonishing figure, announced at the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) recent annual international green building conference in Philadelphia, PA, accounts for more than 102,000 buildings in 50 states and 135 countries participating in the third-party green rating system.
At the conference, known as “GreenBuild,” approximately 25,000 attendees celebrated 20 years of championing greener buildings, sustainable communities and a better quality of life for everyone. Former Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton gave an inspiring keynote speech, and Bon Jovi entertained the throngs of green building advocates from around the globe.
Clinton celebrated the financial impact of green construction, retrofitting and energy efficiency, especially where jobs and investment are concerned. She also congratulated the USGBC for putting sustainability on the American agenda, and for creating jobs, building communities and improving the health of our children.
More importantly, Clinton noted, what started out as a small initiative to improve the efficiency, quality and environmental health of new building construction, has grown into a national agenda and a worldwide movement that saves millions of dollars and millions of tons of harmful emissions.
Since its inception, more than 196,000 people from across the globe have earned LEED professional credentials, and today member chapters are in every US state and in many other countries around the world. The LEED building certification program has evolved from a single set of guidelines into comprehensive rating systems for almost every building class, size and age, whether pre-existing or new construction.
ROBERT E. MATTLER, Associate Broker, Attorney and LEED AP BD+C, is Director of GREEN Brokerage at Armada Real Estate Services in West Bloomfield, MI, and a Board member of the local Detroit Regional Chapter of the US Green Building Council. Bob speaks, writes and advocates about emerging sustainable real estate issues in Michigan and elsewhere. He is a Senior Correspondent for www.greeningdetroit.com and a senior associate with Newman Consulting Group. For more information, contact Bob at Bobm@ncgconsulting.us.com.