LEEDing up to a Green Building Bubble
It’s no secret that an enormous amount of energy has been getting wasted for decades on grossly inefficient building designs, and their heating cooling systems in residential homes, but most especially so in commercial buildings. Yet both politicians and the mainstream media have been eager to promote the many new standards and initiatives that have sprung up to change this historical trend in these times of energy austerity, and ecological awareness. So it’s been unsettling to many of the professionals within the many related fields that seek to build more efficient structures to hear growing rumors that LEED building registrations were down this year. yet today those rumors have been substantiated, and the other shoe has dropped…
GreenerBuildings.com and Rob Watson published the Green Building Market and Impact Report 2010, and the results are considered shocking:
“Our year-end forecast of LEED registrations has them down almost 70 percent compared to last year (NC and CS are off 80 percent and 90 percent in the U.S. respectively). As bad as that sounds, these lower registration numbers actually represent about 22 percent of the total expected new floor area to be added this year, which puts LEED near the top of its anticipated full market saturation point of 25 percent of new construction.”
While this has been interpreted to mean that the backlog of LEEDS projects has dried up, there are cooler heads prevailing to offer some much need perspectives.
Although it might not come as a comfort those who count on continued growth and increased building and consumption to earn their livings, Matthew Montgomery of GroundStone, Inc. offers a very sage point to reflect on in closing:
“As painful as the decrease in total space being certified is for many, we all need to keep in mind that there is not a need for additional space at this this time. In fact it may be a while until there is. A new LEED building may be nice, but nothing is greener than no new building at all.”