Research Publication Title

Does Construction Type Affect Level of LEED Certification?

Major

Economics

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Justin Roush

Keywords

LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Green Building, Economics, Econometrics

Abstract

The US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification process has become increasingly popular and continues to expand across the building sector. The findings presented in Eichholtz, et al (2010) suggest that firms that participate in the certification process may make decisions that are not necessarily profit maximizing, as they incur costs for certifying and constructing special projects. Since 1999, 82,800 projects in 162 countries have been completed using techniques that are considered cleaner and more sustainable, but may not be as profitable as other methods. Using data from the USGBC’s database of LEED projects covering 10 major cities in the Southeast, I estimate the effect of various construction decisions on LEED certification level. I expect to find that newly constructed buildings will receive higher levels of LEED certification than other types and that my analysis will further our understanding of the profit motive firms face when making construction decisions.

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Does Construction Type Affect Level of LEED Certification?

The US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification process has become increasingly popular and continues to expand across the building sector. The findings presented in Eichholtz, et al (2010) suggest that firms that participate in the certification process may make decisions that are not necessarily profit maximizing, as they incur costs for certifying and constructing special projects. Since 1999, 82,800 projects in 162 countries have been completed using techniques that are considered cleaner and more sustainable, but may not be as profitable as other methods. Using data from the USGBC’s database of LEED projects covering 10 major cities in the Southeast, I estimate the effect of various construction decisions on LEED certification level. I expect to find that newly constructed buildings will receive higher levels of LEED certification than other types and that my analysis will further our understanding of the profit motive firms face when making construction decisions.