Wednesday, November 04, 2009

LEED-Certified Green Buildings Cut Energy and Emissions, Boost Worker Comfort, Study Finds

The Chicago office of the green building certifier, LEED, analyzed 25 buildings in its region, and reports on the benefits of certification:

The report found a wide variance in resource use at the buildings, all of which were certified under an older version of the LEED standard. Figure 1 below shows the Energy Usage Intensity (EUI) for 17 of the 25 projects, each of which provided full energy data for the facility. The energy used in BTUs per square foot per year varies from 30,000 to nearly 140,000 in these projects, but on average performed 24 percent better than the national average.

"With an understanding of operational issues, tenant behavior, and maintenance practices, building owners and managers can implement ongoing changes that lead to increased building performance and sustainability over time," said Doug Widener, Executive Director of the U.S. Green Building Council's Chicago Chapter.

Other findings in the first round of the study include very high levels of occupant comfort: Overall satisfaction with the buildings, as shown in Figure 2 below, were consistently high across almost every category measured.

Very interesting.  Even with this older certification, energy performance AND worker comfort were relatively good.  However, the benefits depend on how profligately tenants use energy, and how well they maintain their buildings. 

Maybe there is a business in becoming a building energy manager -- contracting with an assortment of buildings to help them get the most out of their LEED certification...

Read the full report>>

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