Green Program Promotes Retrofit

Green building in volume? That’s the goal behind a newly announced LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program, called the LEED Volume Program from the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council), www.usgbc.org, Washington, D.C.

Launched at the annual BOMA (Building Owners and Management Assn.) conference in Washington, D.C., this week, the LEED Volume Program is designed for those looking to streamline the certification process for buildings across a large portfolio. Another key aspect to the announcement is that the LEED Volume Program is suited for those looking to certify existing facilities under the program.

The program has actually been in place in a limited aspect, with more than 60 LEED projects having been certified through LEED Volume to date. According to USGBC, now after being successfully shaped and applied by 11 pilot participants, organizations of all types will have access to the benefits of this program for their existing buildings. The pilot programs included retail and commercial real estate service providers, to name a few.

In a blog on the USGBC’s Website, Doug Gatlin, the organization’s vice president, LEED, commercial markets, cited recent statements by both President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton related to the way in which retrofitting existing buildings could help spur job growth in the market.

It’s a theme that seems to be resonating throughout the entire industry as retrofitting holds both economic (job creation) and environmental stimulus. Such programs like the LEED Volume Program could go a long way in spurring new projects and perhaps some bright prospects for job growth and in the market as we move forward.

In fact, this could also help stimulate some use of information technology by owners and contractors looking for tech tools that can provide guidance on things such as energy analysis and benchmarking efforts associated with buildings.