Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pennsylvania Green — PA the Second Greenest State in the Union When Rated by Volume of LEED-Certified Projects

LEED certified projects by stateWhen it comes to building green, Pennsylvania is on the right track — with 81 buildings currently certified and another 400+ in the works. Only California tops the Keystone State, boasting 173 already LEED-certified buildings of its own.

Washington State and Oregon are #3 and #4 respectively. (The suckers in New York are #11.)

Three out of the top four states are progressive Pacific coast states. No shocker there.
Green Architecture in the United States is as geographically polarized as the political landscape — and a look at future eco-building sites suggests the trend will continue. The good news? More LEED projects on the horizon. Lots more.
What LEED-cluttered regions have in common are high population densities, stringent government mandates, and strong local USGBC chapters—all of which help explain California’s nationwide high of 173 LEED-certified projects, with 1,217 more in the pipeline. The state’s urban population, nearly 32 million, is almost double that of Texas or New York, and its government has encouraged green architecture through a variety of incentives.

The largely rural states in the center of the country, often lacking big-city infrastructure and broad professional networks, lag behind the coasts. “From a sustainability standpoint, it’s greener to develop in urban areas,” says Max Zahniser, LEED program manager.
There is, however, talk of the LEED system being somewhat flawed.
We're concerned that LEED has become expensive, slow, confusing, and unwieldy, a death march for applicants administered by a soviet-style bureaucracy that makes green building more difficult than it needs to be.

[ resulting in 1) mediocre "green" buildings where certification, not environmental responsibility, is the primary goal; 2) a few super-high-level eco-structures built by ultra-motivated (and wealthy) owners that stand like the Taj Mahal as beacons of impossibility; 3) an explosion of LEED-accredited architects and engineers chasing lots of money but designing few buildings; and 4) a discouraged cadre of professionals who want to build green, but can't afford to certify their buildings. ]

The idea behind LEED is laudable. The execution, so far, has been disappointing. In the final analysis, the world needs green buildings a lot more than green buildings need LEED certification. If LEED continues to cost too much in dollars, time, and effort, we are not going to stop building green projects, we'll just stop certifying them.
So while the U.S. Green Building Council might have to refine the LEED system a bit, it’s nevertheless great to see construction in Pennsylvania making the investment and pursuing mad certifications.

Red, Blue, and Green States [ Metropolis Magazine ]
Can LEED Survive the Carbon Neutral Age [ Metropolis Magazine ]
LEEDing Us Astray? Top green-building system is in desperate need of repair [ Grist ]

1 comment:

andrew said...

Sadly, the guys trying to build the 100k house lost their funding:


What kind of costs are associated with getting LEED certification? I don't think they've even anticipated costs like that...