Joel Makower points us to a great report on the impact of LEED certified buildings. The Green Building Impact Report, written by Robert Watson, one of the brains behind the creation of the LEED certification program, is free to download or view online. The report, at only 24 pages long, is worth your time if you have an interest in green building, especially if you, like me, are trying to sell the idea of building LEED certified to stakeholders in your town or company.
Page 3 of the report summarizes the following statistics related to the environmental impacts of LEED certified non-residential buildings:
- Nearly 400 million vehicle miles traveled have been avoided by the occupants of LEED buildings, thanks to efficient locations and the myriad of alternative transportation options supported by LEED. This will grow to more than 4 billion vehicle miles by 2020.
- Expected water savings from LEED commercial buildings will grow to more than 7% of all non-residential water use by 2020. The equivalent of 2008 LEED water savings would fill enough 32-ounce bottles to circle the Earth 300 times.
- LEED buildings consume approximately 25% less energy on average than comparable commercial buildings. By 2020, these energy savings will amount to more than 1.3 million tons of coal equivalent each year, representing approximately 78 million tons of avoided carbon dioxide emissions.
- LEED has helped spur an entire industry in green building materials. Certified projects to date have specified a total of more than $10 billion of green materials, which could grow to a cumulative amount exceeding $100 billion by 2020.
- Companies with employees working in LEED buildings realized annual productivity gains exceeding $170 million resulting from improved indoor environmental quality, a number that will grow to nearly $2 billion of annual productivity improvements by 2020.