SOUTH BEND, December 30, 2011 – South Bend heads into 2012 with existing buildings such as downtown’s Chase Tower expected to undergo major renovations. It’s hopeful these renovations will cause the area to increase its square footage of LEED-certified buildings.
“The U.S. is home to more than 60 billion square feet of existing commercial buildings, and we know that most of those buildings are energy guzzlers and water sieves,” says Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council.
“Greening these buildings these buildings takes hands-on work, creating precious jobs especially for construction workers,” Fedrizzi points out. “Making these existing buildings energy and water efficient has an enormous positive impact on the building’s cost of operations. And the indoor air quality improvements that go with less toxic cleaning solutions and better filtration create healthier places to live, work and learn.”
Perhaps buildings like Chase Tower can tap into the White House’s Better Buildings Initiative, which is designed to make commercial buildings more energy and resource efficient over the next decade. The plan catalyzes private sector investment through a series of incentives for upgrading existing offices, stores, schools and universities, hospitals and other commercial and municipal buildings.
More than 43,000 projects currently participate in LEED ratings. Together, they represent nearly 8 billion square feet of space in the United States and 120 other countries. By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a healthier environment.