The Green Movement in Real Estate is growing darker. All new certification schemes, like all new growth, have that light green tinge when they begin that denotes suppleness. While it makes them amendable to change, it provides little armor when the going gets tough. As a result, many rating systems mature to a darker shade.
The USGBC’s LEED rating system is by far the most recognized and most used green building rating system in the world and the UK’s Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is frequently used in Europe. As standards like LEED and BREEAM mature, that light hue darkens to a more serious and robust one – characteristic of maturity and staying power. According to Pike Research, that day has come.
Pike projects that by 2020, 53 billion square feet of space worldwide will hold some type of green building certification, up from 6 billion this year, and 73 percent of green-certified building space is in a commercial building – a number expected to grow to 80 percent by 2020. The majority of green certifications will be held by existing buildings instead of new construction, the report says. One American Row in Hartford, CT recently obtained Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings Silver status, making it one of the few LEED-EB certified buildings also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The bigger question is how a building maintains LEED certification status once it has achieved it. Without a comprehensive scheme for posting and managing LEED related tasks – the lifeblood required to sustain any certification level – that LEED or Green status will fade to brown and join the detritus of other failed programs. Technology – operations management systems that post and sustain LEED related tasks throughout the year are integral to maintaining LEED status. Keeping it Green and maintaining affordability requires energy and organization as well as robust data collection, communications and reporting. Think of these systems as the arterial system for your LEED targeted building management practice.
Without one, your LEED status will die on the vine.