LEED buildings earn top rank in energy performance study

November 20, 2012

The United Stated Green Building Council (USGBC) recently conducted an analysis of green energy buildings that have attained set accreditation for efficiency. Buildings included in an LEED sample performed in the top 11th percentile in the U.S. in terms of energy usage. The average ENERGY STAR score for those LEED buildings was 89 out of 100 possible points.

About 195 separate buildings were analyzed and certified under the current LEED rating system – all commercial establishments used as retail or office space. The structures ranged in size from two thousand to three million square feet. However, the average size was 254,000 thousand square feet.

"The ENERGY STAR data we've released gives us an indication as to where the numbers are trending. In the coming months we will be releasing additional LEED energy information," said Scot Horst, Senior Vice President, LEED, USGBC. "Green buildings provide a host of benefits and LEED has spurred significant growth in energy-efficient buildings across the globe. One of the critical factors in understanding building performance is collecting the data. While this is a challenge, we also know that our numbers indicate that the lack of data does not result in a lack of performance."

The study was part of the USGBC weeklong Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in San Francisco, California. As sustainability initiatives continue to grow in popularity and technology develops, officials and leaders are expected to adjust green energy accreditation requirements to ensure construction professionals are consistently striving to improve. By measuring the effectiveness of previously accredited LEED buildings, experts can determine how well past and future procedures and characteristics are being followed through on.

The Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) in greater Philadelphia was established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with the dual purpose of improving energy efficiency in buildings and promotes regional economic growth.

LEED projects demonstrate the best in energy efficient technology in the commercial and residential construction industry. According to the recent report, LEED projects demonstrate Source Energy Use Intensity that is on average 47 percent lower than the national average. The number of LEED-certified buildings on the market is increasing as performance consistently improves.

New commercial construction projects are improving energy performance by 10.5 percent, and about 89 percent of LEED structures are increasing that figure by almost 14 percent, according to the latest reports.