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Whether driven by altruism or concerns about the bottom line, environmentally conscientious design has become prevalent in commercial development today. Thanks to organizations like the US Green Building Council with its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, which promotes sustainable elements in HVAC systems, along with the availability of green products and resources, many in the development sector are more aware of and comfortable with implementing green practices.

Consequently, the USGBC has seen a rise in the number of projects seeking certification through its LEED ratings system, a guideline for sustainable building design that offers third-party validation of a building’s green features. According to the Washington, DC-based organization, there are currently 5,562 LEED-registered projects and 735 LEED-certified buildings in the US; that compares to just 635 registered developments and 38 certified buildings a mere five years ago.

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