Reducing the number of commuting round trips may improve green building grade
Commercial real estate developers and office tower owners are now looking at The Energy Corridor District’s CarShare program as a way to earn points toward Platinum LEED certification – the preeminent standard for green building leadership.
Making it easier for commuters to take alternative modes of transportation to work can contribute 18 percent of the score toward LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification. And one way to encourage new commuting behavior is to offer a CarShare installation, explains John Nunez, transportation manager for The District.
“You can improve LEED status by reducing the number of commuting round trips made by regular building occupants using single – occupant, conventionally powered and conventionally fueled vehicles,” explains Nunez.
CarShare encourages alternative commuting by providing vehicles at work, available hourly for whatever need arises. The program helps overcome the number one deterrent employees cite for not taking carpools, vanpools and mass transit or or simply biking or walking to work – the need to have a vehicle at work to run an errand, check on the kids or meet someone for lunch.
“A CarShare installation can contribute to the Transportation Demand Management score that LEED evaluates,” Nunez says. “In many ways, CarShare is the ideal compliment to a host of efforts properties can take that may increase the use of alternative commuting modes.”
Those efforts include facilitating travel by bus, ridesharing, vanpools and carpools; installing bike lockers to make pedalling to work more attractive; and providing reserved parking spaces for low- emitting, fuel-efficient or alternative-fuel vehicles which may need electrical charging stations.
By encouraging multimodal travel, Platinum LEED-certified buildings can reduce energy consumption and pollution from motor vehicles, along with adverse public health effects.
An international certification program created by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED recognizes best-in-class strategies and practices that can transform the way buildings are designed, maintained and operated. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification.
For property owners, LEED-certified buildings are often less expensive to operate, saving money on energy consumption. And business tenants use LEED certification as recruiting tool, lending credence to a company’s commitment to a healthier environment.
For more information on CarShare and LEED certification, contact John Nunez, transportation manager, The Energy Corridor District, (281) 759-3800.