Monday, June 27, 2011

The Potential of Retrofits: Launch of LEED Volume Program for Operations & Maintenance

Doug Gatlin
Vice President, LEED - Commercial Markets
U.S. Green Building Council

The LEED Volume Program allows large users of LEED to certify buildings across their portfolio in a streamlined fashion, bringing a new level of speed and efficiency to our mission of greening the built environment. LEED Volume unites the large-scale building and management efforts of organizations with the rigor of LEED.

With this morning’s launch of the LEED Volume Program for Operations & Maintenance at the annual BOMA conference in Washington, D.C., we’ve hit two key milestones. The first: Opening up the landmark LEED Volume Program to existing buildings, the industry’s most promising sector with the most ubiquitous presence. To date, an impressive 625 LEED projects have been certified through the LEED Volume Program, including the Design & Construction track, launched last year at Greenbuild. Now, after being successfully shaped and applied by 11 pilot participants*, from large retailers such as Kohl’s Department Stores to commercial real estate service providers like Cushman & Wakefield, the launch will enable organizations of all types to access the benefits of the LEED Volume Program for their existing building stock. And the second milestone: Contributing to the momentum and enthusiasm we are seeing for greening existing buildings.

In his recent Newsweek cover piece, Bill Clinton said, “We could put a million people to work retrofitting buildings all over America.” President Obama’s Better Buildings Initiative is projected to create over 114,000 jobs - 77,000 of those resulting from a revised tax incentive to encourage building retrofits. Retrofitting commercial buildings could save up to 200 million metric tons of carbon emissions each year.

Given this momentum, the BOMA conference could not have been a better venue for the launch of an expanded LEED Volume Program. The 16,500+ members of BOMA are the movers and shakers of the building industry. They’re ahead of the curve, on top of the technology, and aware of the incredible power that lies in retrofitting smart, sustainable structures.

But they aren’t the only ones privy to this knowledge about existing buildings. Across the building industry, from local to federal government, and throughout the business world, the potential of retrofitting our existing building stock is being realized.

Retrofits are the future, and the LEED Volume Program for Operations & Maintenance presents organizations, companies, governments and campuses a way to revamp their existing buildings – in a streamlined, cost-effective, and business-savvy manner.

*Pilot participants also include: American University, Bank of America, Bentall Kennedy, City of San Jose, InterContinental Hotels Group, Stop & Shop, University of California Santa Barbara, University of Florida, and Wells Fargo.


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