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Steadily Growing Sustainability

The demand for high-performing and sustainable buildings continues to increase all of the time. We see it in the page of the magazine. The majority of projects showcased are either LEED certified or have a significant amount of sustainable features. We hear it when we talk to architects and contractors about the projects they are working on, and we even hear it when we talk to product manufacturers.

This demand for sustainable buildings also reaches beyond the United States and into other countries around the world. Earlier this month, the U.S. Green Building Council released its Top 10 Countries for LEED, marking the 10 countries outside the U.S. that are making significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and transformation.

CEO and USGBC founding chair Rick Fedrizzi notes that the international demand has grown steadily for tools supporting sustainable economic growth. He continues, saying: "It has become increasingly clear that we are reaching a tipping point around environmental sustainability. It is now impossible to view social and economic development as separate issues from a robust sustainability agenda. The global success of LEED in these countries is a sign that international business leaders and policy makers recognize that a commitment to transforming the built environment is crucial to addressing major environmental challenges. The countries on this list are pushing this commitment forward."

Of the countries on the list, seven are the world's 20 largest single-nation economies by gross domestic product (GDP)-China, Germany, Brazil, India, Canada, South Korea and Turkey-and six are of the top 11 emitters of greenhouse gases-China, India, Germany, South Korea, Canada and Brazil. Canada continues to top the list, with Brazil and the Republic of Korea moving up in the rankings and Turkey and Sweden making the list this year.

In its second year of providing the ranking, the USGBC list of Top 10 Countries for LEED outside the U.S. includes: Canada, China, India, Brazil, Republic of Korea, Germany, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Sweden. Looking at just the three countries that topped each report, in the year since the first report, Canada grew from 17.74 certified gross square meters (GSM) to 26.63, China grew from 14.30 to 21.97, and India went from 11.64 up to 13.24 certified GSM.

If this isn't evidence of the desire and need for healthy buildings and a sustainable environment, I'm not sure what is.

Are you working on projects outside the U.S.? Drop us a line. We'd love to hear more about them.

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