Keywords: LEED; Green buildings; Spatial distribution; Sustainable development; Urban redevelopment
Given the increasing interest in sustainability within the academy, government, and the private sector, it is important to know the extent to which steps currently being taken towards sustainability differ from place to place. Namely, this paper seeks to determine the existence of a spatial pattern in the implementation of the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. For example, is green energy used more often in one part of the country, or is water conservation practiced more heavily in one region? Variation among the implementation of various LEED certification categories and variation across space were both considered and found to be statistically significant. Variation among categories is more pronounced than variation among regions, especially when the most spatially specific subcategories are isolated and considered. Altogether, this study underscores the importance of place in the growing green building field, and underlines the need for more spatially sensitive certification standards.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards of the non-profit US Green Building Council have become the accepted benchmark for designating “green buildings” in the USA and many other countries. Throughout their 10-year history, the standards have remained flexible, changing with input from designers, builders, environmentalists, and others to incorporate new types of buildings and modify the existing standards to make them more geographically, economically, and functionally sensitive. In this article, I examine through an urban political ecology lens how the LEED standards help to produce a particular kind of built environment. Political ecology has broadened from its origins in the cultural ecology of the developing world to include urban and industrialised environments. In recent years, work in this area has focused on hybridity and socio-nature to explore the ways that urban environments are constructed and maintained through biological, political, and economic processes. In this article, I show how the LEED standards and the green buildings and built environments they help to produce are hybrids of material objects and human practices. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Local Environment is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)