Building Green -- Retroactively
The trend toward retrocommissioning existing commercial structures using green building principles is quietly taking shape behind the louder activity of the new construction sector. More than 5,000 new buildings await LEED certification, compared to 480 existing buildings on the waiting list, according to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Only 7 percent of buildings that have earned LEED certification are existing buildings.
Existing buildings also present their own unique needs and obstacles. Yet the growing awareness of buildings' contribution to climate change, combined with a large existing building inventory and the potential of fattening the bottom line, promises to cast a brighter spotlight on this sector.