11 December 2013 — The third and final instalment in the LEED in Motion report series has been released by the US Green Building Council.

Impacts and Innovation highlights the technologies leading to a new generation of green buildings.

“Innovation is the backbone of green building,” said USGBC president, chief executive and founding chair Rick Fedrizzi in his foreword. “It’s the reason why modern green buildings are able to make such a dramatic impact in energy, resource and cost savings.

“Even as LEED is in itself an innovation, it has and will continue to serve as a gateway to further advances in the movement to create healthier, high-performing buildings and vibrant, resilient communities.”

Between 90 and 95.9 per cent of LEED projects had achieved an Innovation in Design or Innovation in Operations credit, depending on the rating system.

Examples of innovative projects included:

  • Emissions reduction reporting: reporting energy use and corporate-wide emissions
  • Employee wellness program: providing regular sporting events, free access to exercise classes and facilities, educational material, free health screenings and more
  • 100 per cent waste diversion for durable goods waste

LEED said recent innovations in green buildings had now become standard thanks to the tool, including:

  • Renewable energy innovations like solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling and renewable energy offsets
  • Building automation systems
  • Net-zero/net-positive buildings
  • LED light bulbs
  • Waterless urinals and dual-flush toilets
  • Low and no VOC paints
  • Eco-friendly and rapidly renewable materials, like bamboo
  • Green and white roofs
  • Living roofs and walls
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Smart buildings and sensors

The LEED report also detailed the top credits that were earned under different categories. For new construction, optimisation of energy performance was number one, with 98 per cent of LEED projects claiming the credit, followed by low-emitting materials in paints and coatings (95 per cent) and a construction indoor air quality management plan (92 per cent).

For existing buildings, the top credit again was optimised energy efficiency performance (87 per cent), followed by additional indoor plumbing fixture and fitting efficiency (85 per cent) and high performance green cleaning (85 per cent).