LEED Grows With Retail, Volume Programs

LEED is getting bigger — and, it hopes, more efficient. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), after testing the concept in a three-year pilot program, is officially launching LEED for Retail, which it says will enable “forward-thinking retailers to integrate green building design, construction and operation into ground-up construction, retail interior and build-out projects.”

At the same time, the USGBC said it would also institute the LEED Volume Program, intended to make it less cumbersome and less expensive for large-scale property developers to earn LEED certification. This is another program the USGBC has been testing and Starwood Hotels and Resorts said in a USGBC press release that it used LEED Volume to “streamline the LEED certification process and, by extension, even our own internal design and construction processes.”

LEED certification programs

image via U.S. Green Building Council

The USGBC said dozens of companies were involved in the LEED for Retail pilot, including Bank of America, Best Buy, Chipotle, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Kohl’s, LL Bean, McDonald’s, Pizza Fusion, Starbucks and Target.

In addition to the two new programs, the lineup of LEED certifications now includes: New Construction; Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance; Commercial Interiors; Core & Shell; Schools; Healthcare; Homes; and the pilot program Neighborhood Development.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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