Market News

 June 16, 2009
Do LEED-certified buildings save energy? Yes, but...

 By Newsham, G.R.; Mancini, S.; Birt, B., National Research Council

An analysis was carried out of data supplied by the New Buildings Institute and the US Green Buildings Council on measured energy use data from 100 LEED certified commercial and institutional buildings. These data were compared to the energy use of the general US commercial building stock. The authors also examined energy use by LEED certification level, and by energy-related credits achieved in the certification process.

On average, LEED buildings used 18-39% less energy per floor area than their conventional counterparts. However, 28-35% of LEED buildings used more energy than their conventional counterparts.

Further, the measured energy performance of LEED buildings had little correlation with certification level of the building, or the number of energy credits achieved by the building at design time.

The author therefore conclude that, at a societal level, green buildings can contribute substantial energy savings, but further work needs to be done to define green building rating schemes to ensure more consistent success at the individual building level.

The authors nNote, these findings should be considered as preliminary, and the analyses should be repeated when longer data histories from a larger sample of green buildings are available.

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Source: National Research Council of Canada