Does LEED Have a Big City Bias?

<p>The vast majority of LEED-certified green buildings in the U.S. are located in major cities, leading some to wonder whether there might be an inherent bias in LEED's standards.</p>
April 26, 2008, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"As Northern California's first privately funded LEED office building (other green development in the area has been for the state government), the property's prestigious LEED tag is being received by an audience somewhat unfamiliar with green buildings and funny eco-friendly real estate acronyms."

"In other words, before this building rides the green wave, it has to help build it."

"Now, Aguer must convince tenants that it's a no-brainer, a task in which larger markets like San Francisco -- one of the greenest commercial real estate markets in the nation -- have had a head a start. 'San Francisco is more cutting edge than most cities," he says. "That level of consciousness hasn't hit Sacramento.'"

"The apparent green gap between the two Northern California cities belies the mere 100 miles that separate them and illustrates the geographic limitations of LEED, even as the popularity of the green building rating platform has skyrocketed."

"According to a study last year by institutional investment advisor RREEF, LEED buildings are found in 400 or so U.S. cities, but are "highly concentrated" in the nation's largest metro areas, such as New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles. By CoStar's tally, the 10 largest U.S. cities by population account for almost 10 percent of the more than 11,000 LEED-certified or registered projects to date, for an average of roughly 100 LEED projects per city. That would leave the remaining 350-plus cities with an average of only about 30 LEED projects."

"The trend accelerates on a state-level, where two-thirds of LEED-certified building area falls within the 10 largest states, "despite having barely 40 percent of the nation's population," the RREEF study found."

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Published on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 in CoStar Group
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