While using green building practices has become popular in new construction, the same is not true for renovation projects.
" 'From an environmental standpoint, if we really want to address climate change and water conservation, the bigger opportunity is in existing buildings,' said Doug Gatlin, director of the Green Building Council's certification program."
"Which raises the question, Why have existing buildings been overlooked? According to the Green Building Council, it is largely because new construction and high-tech systems have attracted all the attention, providing architects and engineers opportunities to create new technologies and even whole industries. By comparison, cleaning boilers and installing operable windows does not seem terribly exciting.
But with energy costs rising, and the possibility of awarding an existing building a LEED certification, that is starting to change."
A New York-based private developer has begun renovating existing buildings near transit using green building practices, and Seattle has several projects in the works.