Having quantifiable statistics available for companies to review as part of the green building decision-making process is invaluable.  The Green Building Impact Report 2008 provides a better look at the success of sustainable building measures taken by developers of properties seeking LEED certification.  LEED is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, part of the U.S. Green Building Council.

GreenerBuildings.com Executive Editor Rob Watson wrote the Green Building Impact Report 2008. 

"Our findings are both encouraging and cautionary," Watson said as part of the report's release. "Overall, we believe that LEED buildings are making a major impact in reducing the overall environmental footprint of individual structures."  Source: GreenBuildings

The report looks at the environmental impact in the following categories:  land use, water, energy, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality. 

Land Use
A common mantra used in real estate is "location, location, location" and the same mantra can be used when designing a building using the LEED standards.  One of the land use environmental impacts studied dealt specifically with the building's location. 

In 2008, the location of LEED-certified buildings led to a reduction of gasoline usage by 15.5 million gallons.  This was tied to 32,000 fewer vehicles used and an estimated CO2 emissions reduction of 3.8 million tons.  By 2015, the CO2 emissions saved through optimally located green buildings is expected to be 24.9 million tons.

Approximately 9.5 billion gallons of water was saved in 2008 using water efficient plumbing, graywater recycling processes and appropriate landscaping and irrigation.  This number is expected to soar to over 133 billion gallons of water saved by LEED buildings in 2015.

"LEED requires a minimum of 14% energy savings when compared to the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) commercial energy efficiency standard 90.1-2001 to 2004." Source:  Green Building Impact Report 2008

In 2008, the energy efficient measures taken by developers of green buildings saved an estimated 1.3 million tons of coal.  The report estimates that 25.8 million tons of coal will be saved by LEED buildings in 2015.

These are just a few statistics presented in the Green Building Impact Report 2008.  The report takes a comprehensive look at buildings across the United States that have started, and ultimately completed, the LEED certification process.  The entire report is available online from GreenBiz.com

Photo by vancanjay

Green Building Impact Report 2008
The environmental benefits of LEED certified green buildings are measured.