LEED buildings top 1 billion square feet globally

Summary:The U.S. Green Building Council said the total footprint of commercial projects certified under its LEED green rating system has surpassed one billion square feet.

The U.S. Green Building Council said on Friday that the total footprint of commercial projects certified under its LEED green rating system surpassed one billion square feet this month.

The milestone demonstrates increased traction for constructing and operating buildings more efficiency, from reduced energy usage to improved water conservation to safer building materials.

The USGBC says another six billion square feet of projects are registered for LEED certification and already in the works.

But the question is whether LEED can evolve to be a more comprehensive certification. Currently, LEED is a construction certification -- that is, build a green building and meet requirements and receive LEED certification. Currently, there's no follow-up to see if the building is still operating efficiently.

Detractors of LEED say that a building's operations can easily run off the rails and dilute a LEED certification, which effectively documents a point in time.

Proponents of LEED acknowledge the holes, but say LEED remains a major step forward and sets the foundation (no pun intended) for greener operations, even if the certification proper doesn't take the lifecycle of the building into consideration.

To date, the LEED program has certified more than 36,000 commercial projects and 38,000 single-family homes.

More on LEED in a video:

Related on SmartPlanet:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

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Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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