International Interest Grows in Green-Building Certification
AUSTIN, TEXAS — Last month, the new U.S. Embassy compound in Madagascar, which includes high-efficiency windows and low-flow toilets, received certification as a green building. Taipei 101, one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, also earned a green stamp of approval recently, as did the Seoul Finance Center in South Korea.
As companies and governments look to burnish their environmental credentials around the world, many are devoting extra time and money to certifying their buildings as green. The buildings in Madagascar, Taipei and Seoul are among those that have turned to a U.S.-based process called LEED, short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which offers third-party verification. Other green-building standards, like the British-based BREEAM and DGNB in Germany, are also spreading outside their home countries.
Green-building certification is “becoming accepted as a badge of genuine quality,” said Raphael Sperry, a senior consultant with Simon & Associates Green Building Consultants in San Francisco, who is LEED-accredited in his profession. International tenants in particular, he noted, may seek out buildings with recognized green stamps, which should mean low bills for energy and water and a pleasant working environment.
Scot Horst, the senior vice president for LEED at the U.S. Green Building Council, the Washington-based group that administers the certification program, cited a “dramatic uptick” in international interest.
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