USGBC’s LEED Green Building Program Use Falls

March 12, 2010

Green Building SurveyThe Allen Matkins/CTG/Green Building Insider Green Building Survey takes a poll of 1,600 design and building professionals from the U.S. every year for the last 4 years.

Not surprisingly, green construction represents the fastest growing sector of the building industry.  And support for it as a practice continues to be high as 92% of those surveyed remain in favor of it.   Perhaps what is a surprising result of the survey is that the implementation or certification to the Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program by USGBC decreased by 4.7%. This highly tauted and well known certification program now only gathers overall support of 62% among those surveyed.

As the fastest growing sector of the building industry, green building has an estimated compound annual growth rate of 108% through 2015.  In 2009, the global green building industry totaled over $553 billion in 2009.  Energy costs and the expected future cost represent the primary motivation in adopting a green building strategy.  However, cost is a consideration up front as over half of the participants of the survey indicated that a LEED Gold rating increased project costs by 4% or more.  Fewer than half of those surveyed said that to achieve LEED Gold, less than 4% of the cost was incurred.

A green program for residential construction that is growing versus shrinking is the NAHB Green program.  Now the ANSI standard, builders from around the country are embracing the green program as a cost-effective solution to the green building trend that is becoming the norm.  This ANSI approved standard defines green building for single and multifamily homes, residential remodeling projects, and site development projects.  It allows flexibility for regionally-appropriate best green practices.

Check out the full Green Building Survey here.

Categories: Green Building, USGBC

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.



Interestingly, the report really focuses on commercial green building and all references to LEED (costs, documentation, commissioning, etc) were to the commercial rating system. The residential version of LEED is significantly different in the technicalities, and is less expensive. For a typical $300,000 single-family home, LEED certification is less than 1% of costs. In the first quarter of 2010, local adoption in the Chicagoland are is growing at +200%.


Fortunately the marketplace is discovering all of the LEED program drawbacks. It is a private special interest group program, with built-in conflicts of interest, high costs, not code approved by ANSI or ICC and difficult to use. Along with the fact that it is being challenged by the legal community for some of these conflicts and used by some municipalities that are required by law to only use a code approved green building program. This is what happens in America when someone else comes along and creates a better product and the originator can’t adapt.

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