In this five-part series, we are featuring all of the newest and most effective green construction solutions that are being implemented into projects today. In section one, we discussed the environmental need for green construction. In section two, we covered some of the most innovative solar designs being incorporated into infrastructure projects. In section three, we discussed the most resourceful building materials to utilize on projects. In this section, we will discuss Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects. Remember, for assistance with any of the legal aspects of your projects, contact one of our Nashville construction attorneys today.
What is LEED?
Around the turn of the century, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) established LEED certifications as a way to create public awareness and positive exposure to projects that are focused on creating a more sustainable planet. LEED is the certified program that grades eco-friendly projects by a points system that ranges as high as 100. From residential to commercial projects, this rating system sets the standard for renewable energy construction projects.
The Rapid Growth of LEED Certified Projects
As LEED-certified projects continue to rapidly grow, according to USGBC, the program has been involved in nearly 100,000 green construction projects across more than 160 countries. In total, LEED-certified projects cover nearly 20 billion square feet of building space worldwide and over two million square feet of construction space becomes LEED-certified every day. As the market demand for environmentally friendly infrastructure continues to rapidly rise, the green construction market continues to skyrocket with hundreds of billions of dollars invested in renewable energy construction projects. With the majority of global construction companies designing or undertaking green construction projects, within the next five years, there will be an estimated budget in green construction of over $900 billion globally.
Promoting Renewable Energy and Sustainability
Generally, the most common criticism for renewable energy projects is that the process costs more money up front to produce. However, investing more capital in green construction upfront can yield a more valuable return over time. According to USGBC, the vast majority of LEED projects improve the structure up to “10 percent in energy performance” with green buildings forecasted to repay the initial extra costs “in just seven years.” This is because green buildings have lower maintenance and operational costs. In addition, LEED projects can save millions of dollars in water, waste, and maintenance expenses annually.
For more information on renewable energy and construction, please read section five.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.