Large-scale LEED Certifications Launched for Existing Facilities

July 04, 2011 / William Thomson, Green Homes Expert

The US Green Building Council has launched the LEED Volume Program for Operations and Maintenance that puts into standard practice large-scale green building certifications for existing facilities.

Large-scale LEED Certifications Launched for Existing Facilities

The LEED Volume Program was made available to existing green building projects during the 2011 BOMA International Conference held in Washington, D.C., focusing on the different needs for operating and maintaining facilities.

USGBC launched the program for the design and construction of new building projects at its Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in November 2010. The announcement came after the USGBC and Better
Homes and Gardens launched earlier last month the “$25,000 Save Money, Save Energy Green Home Makeover
Sweepstakes” to offer “actionable tips and advice for green home living.”

“With the launch of the Operations & Maintenance track, LEED’s largest users are now able to make a sizable impact in greening their existing building portfolio as well as achieving green design and construction of their new builds,” said Scot Horst, Senior Vice President, USGBC.

“Because existing buildings make up the vast majority of the U.S. building stock and the existing building market is nearly 100 times larger than the new construction market, tools like this are essential to reducing energy consumption from this sector.”

Streamlining the green certification process for high-volume property owners and managers of existing buildings and new construction projects and utilizing a prototype-based approach, the LEED Volume Program provides consistency in green building improvements for large-scale builders, owners, and managers, which allows them to earn LEED certification “faster and at a lower cost than would be possible with individual building reviews,” the USGBC said.

A total of 11 commercial real estate firms, national retailers, hospitality providers, colleges and universities, local and state governments and federal agencies, including Cushman & Wakefield, Bentall Kennedy, City of San Jose, Kohl’s Department Stores, Stop & Shop, Bank of America, University of Florida, American University, University of California Santa Barbara, Wells Fargo and InterContinental Hotels Group, helped in shaping the Operations & Maintenance track.

“The LEED Volume Program benefitted both our corporate tenant and investor clients by providing a streamlined and cost-effective approach to certification,” said John Santora, Client Solutions, Cushman & Wakefield, a Volume Pilot participant.

“It also allowed us to educate and empower our management professionals so that they are now able to implement sustainable operations and practices at our properties.”

Currently, 18 Cushman & Wakefield properties are certified, representing 8 million square feet of commercial real estate.

“Achieving one of the nation’s first groups of certifications using the LEED Volume Program for Operations & Maintenance across such a diverse portfolio of assets demonstrates our strong belief in the importance, long-term value and opportunities presented by improving the sustainability of existing buildings, in addition to new construction,” said Christian Gunter, Vice President, Bentall Kennedy, which has certified 45 buildings representing over 8 million square feet of commercial space through the LEED Volume Program.

So far, the USGBC has certified more than 625 building projects through the LEED Volume Program, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts, The PNC Financial Services Group, Best Buy, Marriott, Citigroup and Starbucks Coffee Company.

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