Strengthening Sustainable Buildings
As buildings currently account for an estimated one-third of global emissions, green buildings are one of the most cost-effective solutions to climate change, as they generate significant environmental, economic, and societal benefits.
Sustainable buildings are growing in popularity and will be in demand for the foreseeable future. A recent report outlines the trends and the countries that are at the forefront of sustainable buildings.
The USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) announced the Top 10 Countries for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). This list highlights countries outside of the United States that are making significant strides in sustainable building design, construction, and market transformation.
These countries represent the ever-growing international demand for LEED green and sustainable buildings. This year, China moved from second to first on the list, as the largest user of LEED with 34.62 million GSM (gross square meters) of certified LEED space. Canada, India, Brazil and the Republic of Korea rounded out the top five countries on the list, respectively. The United States, where LEED originated, is not included in this list, but remains the world’s largest market for LEED.
Increased consumer demand has also pushed the world’s green building market to a trillion-dollar industry, a surge that has led to a corresponding increase in the scope and size of the green building materials market, which is expected to reach $234 billion by 2019.
Currently, there are more than 82,000 commercial projects participating in LEED, totaling more than 1.4 billion GSM of space worldwide. An estimated 170,000 GSM of space achieves LEED certification every day in more than 162 countries and territories across the globe. This example of sustainable buildings going up is a step in the right direction towards sustainability.
Global green building is expected to double every three years, according to a Dodge Data & Analytics World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report, to which USGBC was a contributing partner. Conducted in 70 countries, the report found that emerging economies like China, India and Brazil will be engines of green growth, with development varying from twofold to sixfold over current green building levels
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the world’s most widely used green building rating system. LEED-certified spaces use less energy and water resources, save money for families, businesses and taxpayers, reduce carbon emissions and prioritize environmental and human health.
SOURCE U.S. Green Building Council