Green Building Certifications to Grow

About 1.2 million square feet of commercial and campus structures between Merced and Bakersfield are LEED certified, but many more could obtain some sort of green certification in the next decade as environmental and energy awareness continue to increase.

A report by clean-energy consultant Pike Research says the amount of property certified as green could increase from 6 billion square feet worldwide to a whopping 53 billion square feet in only 10 years.

LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - is considered one of the highest ratings for sustainable construction. The number of structures achieving that rating, or other green certifications, should climb until 2020 because of new regulations, desire for better energy efficiency and lower power bills, the ability to command higher rents and property values and increasing awareness in all things green will drive the movement, researchers said.

"Green building techniques are increasingly becoming the standard within the architecture and construction industries," said research analyst Eric Bloom. . . "There are three major drivers behind green building certifications: environmental responsibility, reducing operating expenses through energy efficiency and regulatory requirements that mandate energy efficiency and certifications."

The "green" movement is expected to be evident in other industries too. Another report by Pike Research says investments in green data centers - in an effort to cut energy bills and carbon emissions - will climb over the next five years from $7.5 billion in global revenue to $41.4 billion - representing 28% of the entire market.

The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization is a nonprofit dedicated to improving our region's quality of life by increasing its production and use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley.