The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is celebrating the certification of the 12,000th commercial project under its LEED green building program.
When all kinds of buildings are included, there are more than 137,000 LEED registered and certified projects, homes, communities and neighborhoods around the world.
More than 45,000 projects participate in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising 8.4 billion square feet in all 50 states and 120 countries. Over 19,000 residential units have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system, with over 76,500 more homes registered.
It's hard to believe LEED was launched just 12 years ago in 2000, because it's had such a huge impact on the construction industry. LEED is transforming the way built environments are designed, constructed, operated and maintained.
Since its start, when LEED certification was solely for new buildings, the program has grown to cover just about every kind of building: schools, homes, neighborhoods, commercial retrofits and interiors, as well as specific applications, such as hospitals.
"The momentum for green buildings is rippling around the globe, enhancing the built environment for generations to come," says Rick Fedrizzi, CEO & Founding Chair of USGBC.
The Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge facility, rated LEED-Gold, has the notable distinction of being the 12,000th commercial building. Paid for by the Recovery Act, it's been rebuilt after the original facility was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008. The building will house wildlife exhibits, an environmental education center, and National Park employees.
LEED certification undergoes continual improvements. The final comment period for LEED 2012 ended earlier this week.
Some of the recent LEED certifications are Stanford University's MBA Complex (LEED-Platinum), and in NYC, Hearst Tower in NYC (LEED-Platinum), JP MorganChase global headquarters, (LEED-Platinum), and the iconic Empire State Building (LEED-Gold). Volkswagen's Tennessee factory earned LEED-Platinum.
Learn which states added the most LEED certified buildings last year.
USGBC and Home Depot just launched an online database, LEED Home Depot, to make it easy for people to find green building products.
Finally, although there are many studies that show employees are more satisfied and productive when they work in green buildings, this week a study showed that banks actually bring in significantly more revenue in LEED-certified buildings.