13 November 2012 — GreenBuild 2012, San Francisco An analysis by the US Green Building Council has found that LEED buildings are performing in the top 11th percentile in the US in terms of energy usage.

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It also found the average ENERGY STAR score for those buildings was 89 out of 100 possible points. The analysis was based on LEED projects that have submitted data to USGBC both voluntarily and as required by LEED 2009.

The majority of the 195 buildings analysed were certified under the existing building rating system. The buildings ranged in size from two thousand to three million square feet with the average being 254,000 square feet. The buildings were a mix of office and retail buildings.

USGB LEED senior vice president Scot Horst said the ENERGY STAR data released gave “an indication as to where the numbers are trending”.

“In the coming months we will be releasing additional LEED energy information. Green buildings provide a host of benefits and LEED has spurred significant growth in energy-efficient buildings across the globe.

“One of the critical factors in understanding building performance is collecting the data. While this is a challenge, we also know that our numbers indicate that the lack of data does not result in a lack of performance.”

For the past two years, USGBC has been tracking the performance of LEED buildings which are reporting their energy and water use data.

These LEED projects demonstrate Source Energy Use Intensity that is, on average, 47 per cent lower than the national average.

Under the current version of the LEED program, USGBC requires building owners to submit energy and water use to help projects understand and improve building performance.

Mr Horst said existing buildings consumed the vast majority of energy in the US and could be made much more efficient with readily available technologies and building management practices, like benchmarking.

“Most owners don’t know how their buildings use energy or how they compare to similar buildings. Benchmarking gives owners a tool to measure their building’s energy use and see how it stacks up to similar buildings.

“USGBC has put many measures into place that enhance building performance over the years. When a new building is LEED certified, it may be based on design projections and energy modelling.

“Benchmarking scores do not account for all the variances that can change building energy use, particularly operating hours and occupant density. There is also the fact that newer buildings on average use more energy than older ones.”

The San Francisco Bay area is home to nearly 700 LEED-certified projects and 1261 additional LEED-registered projects in the pipeline.