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Sustainability

USGBC: Retrofits exceed new construction

December 12, 2011
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced that, as of December 2011, the total square feet of existing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building space exceeded the square feet of LEED new construction by 15 million square feet, according to Energy Boom.

Previously, new buildings were the majority of the LEED market, mostly because it seemed easier to "build green" than to retrofit buildings to meet LEED energy use and environmental parameters, the article stated.

According to the article, that fact is shifting, as evidenced by buildings like the Empire State Building, whose recent renovation to gain LEED Gold certification promises to cut energy use by more than 38 percent, or $4.4 million a year, which will deliver a renovation payback period of three short years.

Green building certification fills an increasingly important role in both the economic and environmental spheres, offering not only tax incentives at the federal and state level, but the opportunity to participate in the energy efficiency financing venue, the article noted.

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