LEED Project Registrations Fall 75% in 2017 First Half

LEED project use in the US continues to decline, across all rating systems, based on our analysis of the LEED Project Database, for June 30, 2017.  Overall new project registrations fell 75% in the first half of 2017, compared with the same period in 2016.

LEED Project Registrations are the best indications of the intent to pursue LEED certification in the future. While there was certainly a rush to register projects in 2016, so that they could be evaluated under LEED 2009, the old system that is no longer available, most of that rush happened in the second half of 2016, to meet an October 31st deadline.

So it’s more than fair to look at the results for US projects from the first half of 2016 and compare them with 2017. Remember that both 2016 and 2017 have had booming construction economies, so the new construction numbers are especially telling.

Here are the numbers, compared with the first half of 2016:

Rating System                                    2016 Reg.       2017 Reg.       % Decrease

LEED BD+C (new construction)      2980               732                 -75%

LEED Core & Shell (new const.)        480                 74                 -85%

LEED ID+C (interiors)                        550                166                 -70%

LEED EBOM (existing bldgs..)           358                 181                 -49%

Total                                                   4368               1081               -75%

What do these numbers tell us? The four major rating systems in the United States only are the choice of 806 out of tens of thousands of new construction projects launched in the US in the first half of 2017 and for only 181 out of 5.6 million existing buildings.

Here’s a point I have made repeatedly to USGBC and GBCI. When your products are being widely ignored by the marketplace, isn’t it time to start rethinking your product offerings? And perhaps also your entire “go to market” approach? Instead, all we get is more promotion for a data platform with the jaw-breaker name of ARC Skoru, which doesn't possibly compare with the many far-more-useful smart building platforms already on the market.

For more information and perspectives about how this sorry state of affairs came about, take a look at my 2016 book, Reinventing Green Building: Why Rating Systems Aren't Working and What We Can Do About It (New Society Publishers).