It’s no surprise that in the last decade or so, “going green” has expanded from a small effort to a mass movement toward eco-sustainability. The newly established goal for “green” development has also created a new economy within the United States. Clients are looking for products that will not harm the environment. This also applies to the creation of new buildings, and if they pass the test for being efficiently “green”. In recent years, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) has become the standard.
According to a recent article in The Philadelphia Inquirer, “LEED has rapidly become the rating standard by which green-building advocates measure commitment to the cause.” There are new pressures for building owners to consider this type of eco-friendly certification. It’s becoming commonplace for landlords to evaluate whether or not the cost of LEED certification is beneficial for their business; the process to get certified costs money, but might actually bring in more revenue in the long run when eco-sustainable aware customers are looking for a place that caters to their interests. “For cash-squeezed commercial-property owners, never have those calculations been so important. With the recession, landlords are struggling to retain tenants and make mortgage payments as demand for office space – and, consequently, rental income – has dropped,” stated Diane Mastrull, an Inquirer Staff Writer.
According to the article written April 11, 2010, an increasing number of employees ask for sustainability efforts in the building which they work. As of today, there are about 4,825 buildings nationwide with U.S LEED certification. The Merchandise Mart in Chicago, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and the Empire State Building in New York are some of the bigger names with partial or total certification of their buildings.
How involved is Mid-Missouri on the issue of eco-sustainability certification for its buildings? The U.S Green Building Council, or USGBC, has a Missouri Heartland Chapter with aims to make Missouri en example of economic, environmental and community sustainability–specifically through LEED certification. How much do you think our state cares? We want to hear your opinions.