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Energy and Greenhouse Gas Savings for LEED-Certified U.S. Office Buildings

1
Department of Physics & Astronomy, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH 44074, USA
2
Department of Mathematics, Calvin University, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2021, 14(3), 749; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14030749
Received: 3 January 2021 / Revised: 23 January 2021 / Accepted: 26 January 2021 / Published: 1 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Energy and Buildings)
In this work, we present results from the largest study of measured, whole-building energy performance for commercial LEED-certified buildings, using 2016 energy use data that were obtained for 4417 commercial office buildings (114 million m2) from municipal energy benchmarking disclosures for 10 major U.S. cities. The properties included 551 buildings (31 million m2) that we identified as LEED-certified. Annual energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission were compared between LEED and non-LEED offices on a city-by-city basis and in aggregate. In aggregate, LEED offices demonstrated 11% site energy savings but only 7% savings in source energy and GHG emission. LEED offices saved 26% in non-electric energy but demonstrated no significant savings in electric energy. LEED savings in GHG and source energy increased to 10% when compared with newer, non-LEED offices. We also compared the measured energy savings for individual buildings with their projected savings, as determined by LEED points awarded for energy optimization. This analysis uncovered minimal correlation, i.e., an R2 < 1% for New Construction (NC) and Core and Shell (CS), and 8% for Existing Euildings (EB). The total measured site energy savings for LEED-NC and LEED-CS was 11% lower than projected while the total measured source energy savings for LEED-EB was 81% lower than projected. Only LEED offices certified at the gold level demonstrated statistically significant savings in source energy and greenhouse gas emissions as compared with non-LEED offices. View Full-Text
Keywords: building energy; benchmarking; green buildings; energy efficiency; LEED-certified building energy; benchmarking; green buildings; energy efficiency; LEED-certified
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MDPI and ACS Style

Scofield, J.H.; Brodnitz, S.; Cornell, J.; Liang, T.; Scofield, T. Energy and Greenhouse Gas Savings for LEED-Certified U.S. Office Buildings. Energies 2021, 14, 749. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14030749

AMA Style

Scofield JH, Brodnitz S, Cornell J, Liang T, Scofield T. Energy and Greenhouse Gas Savings for LEED-Certified U.S. Office Buildings. Energies. 2021; 14(3):749. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14030749

Chicago/Turabian Style

Scofield, John H.; Brodnitz, Susannah; Cornell, Jakob; Liang, Tian; Scofield, Thomas. 2021. "Energy and Greenhouse Gas Savings for LEED-Certified U.S. Office Buildings" Energies 14, no. 3: 749. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14030749

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