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Study: Green Buildings Deliver Climate Benefits

File / Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Sacramento International Airport Terminal B.

File / Rich Pedroncelli / AP

The UC Berkeley study evaluated 100 LEED-certified commercial buildings throughout California. It found that on average the buildings cut greenhouse gas emissions from water consumption in half and reduced waste-related emissions by 48 percent.

Courtney Smith is with the California Air Resources Board which funded the study.

“This research really validates the work that the work that the state is doing to build smarter, is paying off, not only in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and our climate goals, but also in terms of saving consumers money from the utility bills and transportation costs,” says Smith.

The study found the buildings required fewer car trips, but only reduced transportation related emissions by five percent. About 70-percent of the green building’s carbon footprint came from transportation. Researchers say telecommuting and building in better locations could help improve that.