To Make a Greener Building, Start With an Old One

Next time you find yourself in a new-ish US office building, scan the walls visible from the entryway. Within seconds, you are almost guaranteed to find a glittering circular plaque embossed with a leaf. It’ll be topped with the words LEED Platinum—or sometimes Gold, Silver, or just Certified.

In the late ’90s and early 2000s, LEED designation, awarded by the US Green Building Council to recognize leadership in energy and environmental design, was generally revered only in the niche world of architects devoted to reducing the carbon impact of the built environment. But the era of corporate greenwashing has transformed LEED into a badge of status. Recent constructions Apple Park,

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