In spending the past several weeks visiting some of our offices and client properties around the world, I was struck by the importance placed on sustainability in every country.
One surprise is how firmly LEED is becoming established as the standard for high-performing green buildings everywhere—even in places like Germany and the UK that have their own well-established standards. In Australia, new buildings must conform to the NABERS standard that has been in place for many years. Yet, many buildings also go through the process to get LEED certification.
The various standards around the world are more similar than they are different anyway, so a property built with BREEAM in mind will probably have no trouble qualifying for LEED.
Perhaps LEED is becoming so widespread because multi-national companies based in the U.S. and other LEED-oriented countries often want the same standards worldwide. It also helps that at least a dozen countries now have Green Building Councils, as many of us saw at last year’s Greenbuild extravaganza, where Council leaders from each country appeared either in person or via satellite.
Having a common standard for green buildings helps to keep us all connected, as long as we also consider issues of importance to specific regions, such as water in the Middle East and land conservation in Brazil.