Green building now accounts for nearly one-third of new construction in the United States, up from 2 percent in 2005, according to McGraw-Hill Construction.
The key to being green is being LEED certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy andEnvironmental Design. It is the green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 1998 to encourage environmental awareness.
Getting LEED certification can add about 4.7 percent to the cost of a project, according to studies by the University of Michigan. But for many businesses, getting LEED certification is worth the expense, says Andy Hoffman, a professor of sustainable enterprise at Michigan.
"They created a cachet around the LEED certification," he says. "And they got people to want to do this as a marketing pitch — and I think that was really a stroke of genius to get a rather inertial industry to start to shift."
Source: National Public Radio, Franklyn Cater (09/07/2010)