Architects are calling the third version of the popular green-building rating system, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a significant improvement over earlier releases. LEED 2009, which covers new construction, schools, core and shell, commercial interiors and existing buildings, “is a step forward,” says Greg Mella, a principal of SmithGroup, Washington, D.C., and a member of the American Institute of Architects committee on the environment. Under LEED 2009, rolled out late last month by the U.S. Green Building Council, credits are standardized on a 100-point scale. Credits also have been reweighted. Mella deems that important because it recognizes the connection
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.