Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sussman's Strategy in Boston: Requiring LEED Certification for Commercial Buildings

As mentioned by Edna Sussman, requiring all commercial/large-scale buildings to be LEED certified has been a strategy many municipalities have taken to promote urban sustainability. LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is a green building certification program that recognizes sustainable building strategies and construction practices. In order to receive LEED certification, building projects need to satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification (certified, silver, gold, platinum). Prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system (location and transportation, materials and resources, water efficiency, etc) and project managers themselves are allowed to choose the best fit for their particular project. Requiring LEED certified commercial buildings has been a way for cities and towns across the nation to combat local and global climate change. First, let us take a look at the successes of one major American city that has implemented this strategy. 

Boston has taken the reins in constructing state-of-the-art LEED certified buildings. The old American city has seen much success after requiring all commercial building to be LEED certified, however, the city still struggles with upgrading its existing buildings and the need for historic preservation of the city's many old buildings. This has been the major challenge to the overall success of this strategy because innovation as proven difficult in such a dense urban environment. Besides this, this requirement along with Boston's requirement of all city buildings to be at least Silver LEED certified has spurred an explosive interest in sustainability around the city. In Boston, with the requirement that certain projects need to be LEED-certified, the bar has been raised greatly. It has been noted that despite the wave of successes the LEED requirement has seen in Boston, the next step in the sustainability efforts needs to focus on smart-growth aspects including transportation because climate change is not so much a green-building issue but more so a question of location and density.  

No comments:

Post a Comment