"We are close to the tipping point at which green design becomes the default option for smart building."
The new Hearst Corporation building, recently opened in New York, has achieved a gold-level rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating program of the U.S. Green Building Council. The building required 20% less steel than a typical Manhattan high-rise and is expected to use 22% less energy and produce significantly less carbon dioxide emissions than the average city building.
LEED has also paved a path for new green building standards, including one that considers the entire life-span of a project and its materials.
"Quietly competing with LEED is the Cradle-to-Cradle protocol, developed by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart. C2C considers the entire life cycle of a product, from manufacture to recycling; or, even better, 'up-cycling.' The first C2C home, a 1,623-square-foot, two-bedroom house in Roanoke, Va., will be completed next month."