A new program by the U.S. Green Building Council may multiply the number of LEED-certified retail outlets, restaurants and hotels by making it easier for developers to get their projects pre-certified. An article in The Green Source explains how the recently introduced LEED Volume program establishes a prototype for certification, allowing such chains as Starbucks, Marriott and Kohl’s to build locations within a tightly controlled set of LEED credits and designs. These buildings, which can be located anywhere in the United States, do not require individual certification to gain LEED status. The minimum “batch” a company can pre-certify is 25.
Proponents point to the streamlining of paperwork; supply chain efficiencies; and the elimination of costly architects, designers and consultants. One example given was PNC Financial Services Group, which purchased and stored 10 buildings’ worth of certified plywood to take advantage of volume buying.
The USGBC said it is now developing a LEED-based set of metrics that can be applied to existing buildings to improve performance and bring them into the certification stream.