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Green Building Performance Evaluation in the United States: Measured Results from LEED- New Construction Buildings
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Is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program (LEED) delivering actual energy savings? This study addresses that question with a post-occupancy assessment of 121 LEED buildings across the United State. Input to the study consisted of energy bills and brief descriptions of actual building use from owners, plus modeled energy usage information from the U.S. Green Buildings Council‘s (USGBC) LEED submittal files. The actual building performance was viewed through several whole-building metrics: energy use intensity (EUI) relative to national averages, Energy Star ratings, and energy use levels relative to the initial energy modeling (covered in more detail in Frankel, 2008). Two overall results emerged. First, across each of these varied measurements, LEED building performance averaged 25 – 30% better than the benchmark. However, there is also wide variation within the individual results, even for similar building activities and climate zones, suggesting potential for significant further improvements. This paper presents general EUI patterns, Energy Star ratings, and their relationship to LEED energy credits. The discussion also covers the study process and current challenges to such efforts.
Hewitt, D.; Turner, C.; Frankel, M. (2008). Green Building Performance Evaluation in the United States: Measured Results from LEED- New Construction Buildings. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from