I often argue there are three primary non-environmental reasons for seeking green building certification: profit, regulatory compliance and press/goodwill. An article in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal recently looked at diminishing press for buildings that achieve LEED certification:
A few years ago, it was a big deal when any building announced it was LEED certified. There were regular tours, speaking engagements, white papers, awards and news stories. Today, when a building like Orion Associates new headquarters attains Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design status, it may or may not be noticed by anyone besides the building owners and tenants, regardless of what level or type of LEED certification it attains -- bronze, silver, gold or the most rigorous level, platinum.
The only cause for dwindling attention is the sheer number of projects that have been designated LEED. In Minnesota, that number (at all levels, from certified to platinum) has exploded from nine to 98 over the past two years. In September 2007, there were 89 projects registered and awaiting certification. Today, there are 262.
The marketing benefits that result from seeking green building certification can depend on the number of certified buildings in the region. The fewer certified green buildings in the region, the more likely the owner will receive positive press for achieving certification.
Have you noticed less positive press for buildings that achieve LEED certification?