Greener buildings are an essential element for a greener future. In the United States, buildings are responsible for nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions anually. People spend the majority of their time inside buildings, as well. And the materials and goods that are used for the construction of buildings make up a sizable percentage of the production and transportation that goes on.
The U.S. Green Building Council has been a leader in promoting green building and in raising awareness of the importance of green buildings for a better environment. Through the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program, buildings are recognized for meeting green criteria. LEED offers a system to evaluate the benefits of green building design and encourages practices to increase energy efficiency and decrease the waste of material resources.
At the Greenbuild conference and expo going on this week, the USGBC has announced that the latest version of LEED, called LEED 2009, has been approved by the membership of the USGBC, and will take effect next year. The new version of LEED addresses some of the earlier criticisms aimed at the program, such as the imbalance between points awarded in the rating system and the importance of the various elements and the difficulty in implementing them.
According to the press release:
"LEED 2009 will also incorporate highly anticipated regional credits, extra points that have been identified as priorities within a project's given environmental zone. LEED has also undergone a scientifically grounded re-weighting of credits, changing allocation of points among LEED credits to reflect climate change and energy efficiency as urgent priorities. This will be one of the most significant changes to the rating system, and will increase the importance of green building as a means of contributing immediate and measurable solutions toward energy independence, climate change mitigation, and other global priorities."
Building greener buildings (and improving the greenness of existing buildings, as well) has the potential to make huge improvements in the use of energy and material resources. Better design, along with the use of innovative technology, leads to buildings that can support the kind of future we want to see.
|< Prev||Next >|