LEED Certification

What's Next for Sustainable Building?

From LEED Certification to Solar Ready Homes, what do you think will be the "next big thing" in the sustainable building industry?

What’s Next for Sustainable Building?

I wonder what the next level of sustainability and green building will be now that LEED Certification has become more the norm.

In 2010, LEED Certification was a notable distinction for the best-of-the-best in building design, construction, and operations.

Now, it’s a fairly common strategy for buildings, resulting in lower energy use, lower water use, improved occupant health, and more.

It’s still impressive, especially when you take into account how innovative design-thinking helped to achieve a particular LEED Certification level for the project or that LEED standards can now be applied to homes and communities (not just commercial buildings).

All in all, if you’re not working toward LEED Certification, you’re lagging behind everyone else.

Sustainable Building Programs: Then & Now

For almost 30 years, organizations have been trying to revolutionize the building industry and seize on the available sustainability opportunities.

For example…

sustainable buildings certification timeline

Despite the competition, LEED has emerged as the clear frontrunner.

LEED Certification impacts all types of buildings and has been used in 160 countries and territories.

LEED standards have been applied to approximately 83,452 registered and certified LEED projects worldwide, covering around 13.8 billion square feet.

Branching Out from Green Buildings

Since “green” offers such a vast landscape of opportunity, there are many ways to approach it (beyond buildings) and bring our work and daily lives up to modern standards.

Even the Green Business Certification Institute (GBCI), who administers the LEED Certification program, has tried to branch out. With LEED’s success in mind, GBCI has launched ancillary sustainability certification paths for specific components of green building (such as SITES for sustainable landscaping and Parksmart for garages).

Beyond the traditional methods of sustainable building certification, what are other forward-thinking sustainable strategies we can implement?

To get the ball rolling, here are some ideas:

  • Zero Lawn
  • Zero Gas
  • Solar-Ready Home Building
  • City-wide mandates to eliminate plastic bags
  • Retail policies to eliminate plastic straws

For the sake of conversation, what do you think will be the next program or standard that we can aspire to achieve for the most sustainable lifestyle?

If you’ve got ideas for what’s next in sustainability, drop us a line on Twitter. Just tweet us at @everblue_edu

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About Lesley Baulding

Lesley has been passionately advocating for and working with green building and renewable energy since 2009. She has experience with LEED certification, home energy auditing, blower door testing, solar energy, and more. She holds many certifications, including LEED Green Associate and NABCEP Certification. Her work has won numerous awards over the past decade.