I just received my “Happy Holidays from USGBC” email. The note contained some interesting statistics and facts about what the USGBC views as accomplishments of the past year. I found many of these items interesting, so I thought I would share them, directly from the email, for those of you who are not on their mailing list:
- 3,500 commercial and 5,400 residential projects were LEED certified this year, with cumulative totals exceeding 11,000 and 14,600, respectively. And another 31,800 commercial and 61,500 residential projects have been registered. More than 125,000 projects are part of LEED –– an extraordinary accomplishment. And now we look forward to the development of LEED 2012, focusing on the technical rigor of the rating system, expanding the market sectors able to use LEED and striving for simplicity in terms of usability.
- When enrollment closed in October, more than 61,000 LEED APs had opted into LEED AP with specialty credentials. Today, more than 175,000 professionals hold a LEED Professional credential and the industry is even more equipped to handle the different types of building and community projects coming through. In September, we announced the 34-member inaugural class of LEED Fellows, the most distinguished professionals in green building. These folks are inspirations to us all.
- This year our USGBC chapters played a critical role in influencing local and state government policy. The Charlotte Chapter worked closely with local officials to get Oct 24-28 declared Environmental Sustainability Week, coinciding with a series of sustainability programs hosted by the chapter. The Delaware Valley Green Building Council received a USGBC innovation grant that has enabled them to develop a green building legislation “action alert” online system. The California Advocacy Committee, representing all eight California chapters, kicked off its first year of statewide collaboration around green building policy and advocacy with a new, community-developed model for decision-making and engagement and already has a list of wins.
- Our national and chapter members are working hard to fulfill the Administration’s Better Buildings Initiative, supporting the aim to make America’s commercial buildings and plants more energy- and resource-efficient over the next decade by providing incentives for private-sector investment.
- The Center for Green Schools at USGBC placed the first Green Schools Fellows in Sacramento and Boston, and commissioned the first nationwide survey on green schools with founding sponsor United Technologies, hosted a Healthy Schools Summit and released its inaugural “Best of Green Schools” list.
- Despite the challenges of holding the first Greenbuild outside U.S. borders, Greenbuild secured a record number of partnerships, sold out our expo floor and welcomed 23,000 attendees to Toronto. With the help of our progressive host city and devoted volunteers, we achieved 95% waste diversion, setting a Greenbuild record.
- The USGBC App Lab launched in November as part of LEED Automation, which is transforming the way project teams interact with LEED data. Comprised of applications designed by LEED Automation Partners for Web browsers, tablets, smartphones and other devices, the App Lab simplifies the certification process and maximizes building performance.
- As of this month, cumulative square footage of LEED-certified existing buildings surpassed LEED-certified new construction for the first time. As the U.S. is home to more than 60 billion square feet of existing commercial buildings, most of which are energy guzzlers and water sieves, this trend serves as a promising indicator of our progress.
There are certainly some interesting accomplishments and milestones listed above, but I am struck that there aren’t too many metrics for environmental impact being presented (aside from the 95% waste diversion at Greenbuild). Maybe 2012 can bring a few more measureables. A less painful to use LEED Online would be nice too!