LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) has finally made a splash here in New York. On January 30, the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) became the first building in either the City or State to receive certification under LEED-EB. Chairman of the Exchange, Richard Schaeffer, glowed that “[a]s the world’s leading energy exchange, we are firm believers in renewable energy and conservation. We hope other companies will consider going green as it is a win-win situation. After an initial investment, there is a cost savings to the company while helping to sustain the environment.” Among the sustainable steps that NYMEX took in order to secure its certification included composting all organic kitchen waste, improving its recycling and waste reduction protocol, installing CO2 and humidity sensors throughout the Exchange, creating access for workers to bicycle racks and shower and changing facilities, and increasing its stock of recycled/environmentally-responsible office, bathroom, and cleaning products.
At least statistically, LEED-EB has not been very successful. Since the system’s introduction back in 2004, out of only 171 registered projects, a mere 28 have received certification (as of last fall). Why haven’t owners pursued LEED-EB certification more aggressively? Are the reasons financial? Ignorance? An unwillingness to sink money into a version of LEED that’s perceived as niche? I’d be interested in hearing from industry professionals as to their perceptions. Any thoughts?
- NYMEX Named First Existing Green Building in New York (mondovisione)