LEED for Retail and LEED Volume Program make their official debuts

Chicago -- The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) on Thursday launched two, long-awaited green building programs: LEED for Retail, and the LEED Volume Program (usgbc.org/leed/retail).

The LEED for Retail rating system recognizes the unique design and construction needs of the retail sector, enabling retailers to integrate green building design, construction and operation into ground-up construction, retail interior and build-out projects. Nearly 100 retailers and quick-serve restaurants, including Bank of America; Best Buy; Chipotle; Wells Fargo; Citigroup; Kohl’s; LL Bean; McDonald’s; Pizza Fusion; Starbucks; and Target, have participated in the pilot program since its launch in 2007.

“LEED for Retail builds on the  strengths of other commercial LEED rating systems while taking special care to address the distinct needs of retail spaces, from occupancy demands to waste streams, energy and water use,” said Scot Horst, senior VP LEED, USGBC.

The LEED Volume Program is designed to meet the certification needs of high-volume chain retailers and other property developers. Using a prototype-based approach, the Volume Program enables large-scale organizational builders to deliver a consistent end product, thereby earning LEED certification faster and at a lower cost than would be possible with individual building reviews.

“With a more cost-effective, streamlined process, the largest users of LEED are now able to make a larger impact on their building portfolio without compromising the technical rigor LEED has come to stand  for,” Horst said. “This program enables us to move further faster to our goals of green buildings for all within a generation.”

“The Volume Certification Program simplifies that process and dramatically increases the incentive for retailers like us to pursue certification," added Gary Saulson, director of corporate Real Estate, PNC  Financial Services Group. Over 70 PNC projects have certified under the LEED Volume Program.

The LEED for Retail rating system was voted on and approved by 92% of the USGBC membership in March 2010. USGBC recently created LEED for Retail Reference Guides and a LEED Online documentation tool.

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