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29.2 Sustainable Building

This indicator measures the number of LEED registered and certified buildings in Albuquerque and benchmark southwestern cities.

This indicator is part of Sustainable built environment.

Indicator description:

This indicator measures the number of LEED registered and certified buildings in Albuquerque and benchmark southwestern cities. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) was created in 2000 by the U.S. Green Building Council through a consensus process and offers third party validation of a building project’s green features. It is a point based system where projects earn points for satisfying specific green building criteria. Projects are LEED registered during planning, then LEED certified after completion and third party validation. Certification is available at four progressive levels: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Data for the City of Albuquerque’s Green Path program are also shown. The Green Path program offers an expedited permitting process for commercial and residential construction projects registered at certain LEED or Build Green New Mexico levels.

Rollover and click the interactive graphs to make comparisons

Why is this indicator relevant?

Built environments are one of the heaviest consumers of natural resources. It is estimated that buildings use 70% of the country’s electricity, 12.2% of all potable water, and account for 39% of all CO2 emissions. Buildings use 40% of raw materials globally, and the EPA estimates 136 million tons of building-related construction and demolition debris were generated in the U.S. in a single year. Building “green” lowers operating costs, reduces waste sent to landfills, conserves energy and water, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and creates built environments that are healthier and safer for occupants. LEED certification and the City’s Green Path for building permits complement the 2007 Albuquerque Energy Conservation Code which, at time of adoption, was the country’s most comprehensive and far-reaching standard for increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption.


Data Sources:
City of Albuquerque Planning Department; U.S. Green Building Council.

What can we tell from the data?

  • Albuquerque is a leader in green building, exceeding all but one of the six peer cities.
  • The Green Path permitting process encourages LEED and Green Build New Mexico certification and is growing since its inception in fiscal year 2007. Fiscal year 2012 marked the first year "Green Path" building permits numbered greater than traditional permits (463 to 400, respectively).


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