21 May '12, 11am

And the winner for greenest building is … that old thing?

And the winner for greenest building is … that old thing?

Almost all buildings have the potential to become energy-saving superstars. (Photo by Kevo89.) In the 12 years since the debut of LEED certification, the green-building stamp of approval has become the holy grail for every earth-loving contractor and home-builder. But while brand-new, Dwell magazine -worthy eco-structures are a flashy way to highlight new construction practices, the greenest buildings, it turns out, are almost always old ones . By fixing up an old building, you’re saving the planet all the costs of growing, manufacturing, and shipping new building materials all over creation, putting yourself decades ahead of a new building in terms of mitigating climate impacts. LEED has a special set of awards (silver, gold, platinum) for existing buildings that have energy efficiency retrofits and other upgrades, but these rising energy-saving superstars haven’t seen mu...

Full article: http://grist.org/cities/and-the-winner-for-greenest-build...

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