McNair Scholars Research Journal


Sustainability, or “green” building, has been examined across disciplines and continues to be at the forefront of global organizations’ and governments’ commitment to promote energy and environmental stewardship. As it relates to construction, this term has been defined and developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). This Green Building certification body has developed a green building rating system for building construction, referred to as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The practice of constructing building facilities that meet LEED certification standards implies the overall goal of “meeting our building needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” (WCED, 1987). The objective of this study is to determine key cost justifications informing the pursuit of LEED certification, and to ascertain the level of satisfaction of owners as to the value of LEED. The study comprises 30 LEED-certified buildings that are owner occupied, and a survey to determine which cost justifications associated with LEED construction participants favored.