In Reinventing Green Building, I estimate the cost of LEED certification, excluding any additional capital costs for specific measures required to meet LEED requirements, at about $137,000 for a typical project. Applying this to the 2014 LEED project certification mix, just in the US, yields an annual cost (just for certification) of about $400 million, or about $2 billion from 2016-2020, in the US alone.
The rapid convergence of IT, Real Estate, Energy & Sustainability has made current green building certification systems obsolete. The Age of Algorithms is upon us, and we need to recognize that green building is just another algorithm that is capable of evaluation digitally, remotely and without "expert" input.
Many people justify green building certification based on dubious considerations of costs and benefits. What I learned as a management consultant is that costs are real and immediate, whereas benefits are speculative and lie in the future. Most practical business people prioritize the real and immediate (big surprise!). Green building certification, as well as energy efficiency investments, needs to justify itself within the first year not many years down the road
The one book the green building movement needs to read...
Reinventing Green Building is a unique insider’s critique of why certified green buildings are failing to provide large-scale carbon reduction. It is a potent vision for the future that the green building industry needs NOW.