If you develop, own, or invest in real estate, thinking "green"—as in environmentally conscious—is no longer optional. A combination of factors favoring green construction is likely to render conventional buildings noncompetitive in the near future.
Green building certification in the United States is dominated by the United States Green Building Council ("USGBC") and its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ("LEED®") rating systems. As of the Fall of 2009, USGBC reports a pipeline of more than 25,000 projects registered for LEED® certification and over 3,300 projects already certified. This article will briefly describe the LEED® system and some of the reasons for its dramatic growth. It will then offer several practical suggestions that, if considered as part of a comprehensive risk management strategy tailored to the goals, needs and circumstances of each particular project, should increase the likelihood of achieving LEED® certification on time and within budget.
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