LEED green building is on the rise, according to a new report from Pike Research in Boulder, Colo.

But it’s not just the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification that’s increasing. Around the world there are dozens of green building certification programs in operation, particularly in Canada, Western Europe and the Far East. Many in the construction industry are already familiar with the LEED program, Pike Research noted.

According to the report, there are several factors driving green building certification programs:

  • Many companies are interested LEED green building because it is increasingly becoming synonymous with environmental responsibility. 
  • Green building is seen as an important component of corporate social responsibility plans.
  • Many industry personnel view the green building certification process as an opportunity to decrease expenses by implementing energy efficient processes in existing spaces.
  • New government regulations — at the city, state/province and national level — are requiring green building certifications for certain buildings. Most of the recent regulations apply to public buildings, but Pike Research notes that a growing number of governments are creating laws “requiring other building types, including commercial office buildings, to achieve a certain rating under a green building certification program.”
At the moment, commercial building dominates the green certification landscape. Pike Research notes that in many markets, such as Class A office space, it’s more common to have green building certification than not to have certification. Cities looking to attract multinational corporations are driving much of the demand for green building certification in commercial structures.

Looking to the future, Pike Research estimated that cumulative green building certified space will grow from about 6 billion square feet in 2010 to about 53 billion square feet worldwide in 2020.

Newly developed programs in China and India will represent 30 percent of all certified green new construction in 2020 while BREEAM will continue to dominate European green building markets. In addition, LEED green building will continue to reign in North America in 2020, Pike Research stated.