Building green in Austin : meeting your desired bottom line
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During the past couple of decades, developing buildings that are actually sensitive to the needs of the environment has started to be a common trend. Today, the green building movement has reached all corners of the United States and even the world. The United States Green Building Council formed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system to serve as a guideline for measuring the degree to which a building is considered to be environmentally friendly and “green”. The LEED system outlines a number of requirements necessary to achieve one of four different certification levels: Platinum, Gold, Silver or Certified. Each of these levels requires a different number of points awarded based on achievement of various credits during the design and construction phases of a building project. The purpose of this study is two-fold. First, it is to explore the green building movement and discuss the overall benefits of building green. Included in this is a discussion of what it actually means to develop a LEED Certified building, and what a building’s certification status means for both short and long-term costs and benefits toward meeting a developer’s desired bottom line. Secondly, building on that investigation, a determination will be made as to whether or not it is financially viable for a developer to construct a LEED Certified building in Austin, Texas and still achieve his or her desired bottom line as it relates to his or her profit margin.