Certified commercial green buildings on average cut greenhouse gas emissions from water consumption by 50 percent, reduced solid waste management-related GHG emissions by 48 percent and lowered transportation-related GHG emissions by 5 percent, when compared to their traditional California counterparts, according to a study.
The study, conducted by the Center for Resource Efficient Communities at UC Berkeley, evaluated the performance of more than 100 commercial buildings throughout California certified as LEED under the 2009 Existing Building Operations and Maintenance (EBOM) rating system. While typical studies of LEED buildings focus on reduced energy consumption only, this one examined several other climate-related impacts.
The GHG reductions were achieved through a variety of strategies, from water-efficient landscaping to recycling programs to commuter benefit programs.
Green buildings also saves business owners money, says Mike Schoenecker, vice president at Winkelman Building Corp. The savings comes from lower energy, water maintenance and repair costs, as well as rebates, tax credits and other financial incentives for building green.