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ResidentialCommercial Nov 5, 2019 LEED: Building a Sustainable Future  
ResidentialCommercial Nov 5, 2019 LEED: Building a Sustainable Future  

We see and hear it every day: on the news, in the papers and online, at work, at the gym. We need to minimize our carbon footprint, consume healthier foods, live greener, advocate for the environment and a bright future. You can find plenty of discouraging information out there, if you’re looking for it. But there’s good news, too; innovative researchers and progressive corporate leaders committed to sustainable management and progress are already making a difference. Many of them answered the call years ago.

If you haven’t heard of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the LEED (Leader in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system, you should check it out. They’ve been doing incredibly important, game-changing work since 1993. The USGBC is a membership-based, private, non-profit 501(c)3 organization that promotes sustainability in building design, construction, and operation. This forward-thinking organization works in partnership with the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) to offer LEED professional credentials for high-performing buildings that are designed for sustainability and use resources efficiently.

If a LEED-certified professional is on staff during the building project, extra certification points are awarded as further incentive. Since 1994, LEED has grown from one standard for buildings - new construction - to a complete system of standards that cover everything from the design and construction to the upkeep and operation.

The LEED rating system is the most widely used in the world, a global symbol of achievement in environmentally responsible design. According to a Statista online report, the number of LEED-certified projects in the U.S. rose from 296 certifications in 2006 to over 67,200 in 2018. Ranked by the number of gross square footage of LEED-certified space (4.4 billion certified square feet in the U.S.), the following states represent the top ten for 2018, in order: Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington, New York, Texas, Colorado, Hawaii, Virginia, California, Maryland. Note: District of Columbia is not ranked because it’s a federal district, not a state. It was the first city in the world to be LEED-certified.

A recent USGBC survey indicated that green building is growing; activity is increasing in 19 countries. Two thousand participants from 87 countries stated that almost 50 percent of their anticipated projects would be green buildings by 2021. Client demand is the primary driver; the secondary factor in this trend is environmental regulations.

Many U.S. cities now have guidelines in place that require new builds and repairs representing a certain minimum square footage (this varies from state to state) to include reflective roof coatings - also called eco, cool, or green roofs – in the design process. Within the LEED rating system, credits are awarded for “high solar reflectance index,” as these features reduce heat absorption and extend the life of the roofing materials.

The USGBC and LEED rating and certification system have made a huge difference in how the world builds. Designing and building cutting-edge, green buildings that are healthier and resource-efficient is the right thing to do. LEED certificates and accolades are good for the environment, and good for business. Cities have joined the movement, requiring upgrades, and also rewarding participation with tax incentives, fast-tracked permitting processes, and bonuses for sustainable development. Everybody wins.

Whether your roofing project is a replacement, repair or retrofit, trust it to the professionals at Arapahoe Roofing. Visit our website:, or call 303.466.7386.