Update on LEED Project Performance: Energy, Emissions, Commuting, and Occupant Experience - November 2020

Author: 
Chris Pyke
Published on: 
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Arc measures and scores the operational performance of spaces and buildings around the world. Arc scores power LEED v4.1 O+M certification, LEED Recertification, and LEED Zero. 

This article updates information provided in April 2020. Since that time, overall Arc engagement has increased steadily:

 

April 2020

October 2020

Activated projects - interior spaces and buildings    

3.3 billion sq feet

306 million sq meters

3.9 billion sq feet

362 million sq meters

Greenhouse gas emissions

98.6 million metrics tonnes

115.9 million metrics tonnes

Many of these projects have earned LEED certification, and this creates the opportunity to analyze the relationship between LEED certification level and key performance metrics. The table below provides data through the end of October 2020 for approximately 5,000 LEED-certified projects in the Arc database. The number of projects with complete data for each metric and each certification level varies.   

Overall, the data show significant and sometimes dramatic improvements in performance between LEED Certified and LEED Platinum projects. Highlights include:

 

April 2020

November 2020

Reduction in GHG emissions per occupant

-57% reduction (vs. LEED certified)

-58% reduction (vs. LEED certified)

Improvement in occupant satisfaction

+11.0% (vs. LEED certified)

10.5% (vs. LEED certified)

These metrics reflect the greater stringency of LEED requirements as projects progress from the Certified to Platinum level. At this time, it is not possible to compare these absolute values or trends to non-LEED spaces or buildings. Consequently, LEED Certified is used as a baseline for comparison, even though this already reflects requirements beyond most local codes and standards. 

These metrics also illustrate the type of information Arc can provide for any project or portfolio. 

Explore ArcSkoru.com to learn more. Reach out to us with questions at contact@arcskoru.com   

Table 1. Comparison of five key performance indicators for LEED Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum projects. 

Category

Metric

Certified

Silver

Gold

Platinum

Energy Use

kBtu per sf per year

54.2

58.1

52.9

41.7

GHG Emissions

mTCO2e per occ per year 

3.1

2.5

1.9

1.3

GHG Emissions

mTCO2e per sf per year

0.0066

0.0067

0.0051

0.0041

Transportation

mTCO2e per commute

4.8

2.8

2.9

2.0

Human Experience

Occupant satisfaction (median)

7.2

7.7

7.6

8.0

 

Table 2. Changes in performance compared to LEED Certified. All Certified-to-Certified comparisons have no change, and they are listed as not applicable (n/a).

Category

Metric

Certified

Silver

Gold

Platinum

Energy Use

kBtu per sf per year

n/a

7%

-3%

-23%

GHG Emissions

mTCO2e per occ per year 

n/a

-22%

-39%

-58%

GHG Emissions

mTCO2e per sf per year

n/a

2%

-23%

-38%

Transportation

mTCO2e per commute

n/a

-42%

-40%

-59%

Human Experience

Occupant satisfaction (median)

n/a

6.4%

5.2%

10.5%