The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has made the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Volume Program for Operations & Maintenance available for existing green building projects.
The program is designed to streamline the certification process for high-volume property owners and managers of existing buildings and new construction projects. Using a prototype-based approach, the program enables large-scale builders, owners, and managers to achieve consistency in green building improvements, allowing them to earn LEED certification faster and at a lower cost than would be possible with individual building reviews, according to USGBC.
“With the launch of the Operations & Maintenance track, LEED’s largest users are now able to make a sizable impact in greening their existing building portfolio as well as achieving green design and construction of their new builds,” USGBC Senior Vice President Scot Horst said. “Because existing buildings make up the vast majority of the U.S. building stock and the existing building market is nearly 100 times larger than the new construction market, tools like this are essential to reducing energy consumption from this sector.”
The Operations & Maintenance track was shaped by 11 commercial real estate firms, national retailers, hospitality providers, colleges and universities, local and state governments, and federal agencies, including Cushman & Wakefield, Bentall Kennedy, the City of San Jose (Calif.), Kohl’s Department Stores, Stop & Shop, Bank of America, University of Florida, American University, University of California Santa Barbara, Wells Fargo, and InterContinental Hotels Group.
“The LEED Volume Program benefitted both our corporate tenant and investor clients by providing a streamlined and cost-effective approach to certification,” said John Santora, Client Solutions, Cushman & Wakefield, a Volume Pilot participant. “It also allowed us to educate and empower our management professionals so that they are now able to implement sustainable operations and practices at our properties.” Eighteen Cushman & Wakefield properties are certified, representing 8 million square feet of commercial real estate.
More than 625 building projects have certified through the LEED Volume Program, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts, The PNC Financial Services Group, Best Buy, Marriott, Citigroup, and Starbucks Coffee Co. USGBC launched the program for the design and construction of new building projects in November 2010.