I have had another green building epiphany. Actually, a series of epiphanies.
But before we get to the epiphany, we have to review a simple premise. I have to thank Will Clark over at Multi-Family Guide for pointing out this premise to me. So here it is:
The LEED rating system was created to only apply to the top 25 percent of the market.
It’s true. After doing a little digging, I found an interview from February 2008 with Rob Watson, the "Father of LEED," where he states the premise.
VL: Here in the US, LEED is becoming mainstream and expanding to cover homes, schools, banks, businesses, neighborhood development, etc. Ultimately, how far do you think LEED can go?
RW: LEED is designed to fully reach the top 25 percent of the market in terms of the number of square feet—so a quarter of new buildings will be built to LEED specifications. The rest of the market will catch up eventually as green practices become more mainstream. So as we reach our target 25 percent (currently about 10 percent of new building square footage is LEED certified), LEED will get more stringent so it will be a moving bar. Unless the engine is moving, the train following it won’t move, either. So we want to keep raising the bar as the knowledge gets greater and the technology availability gets greater. We want to bring in ever greener and greener buildings.
I would venture to guess that most people don’t realize LEED is only supposed to apply to "the top 25 percent of the market." There are all sorts of ramifications, or epiphanies, we will get to in later posts that are the result of this premise.
But for now, does anyone know the percentage of square footage that is LEED certified currently?