Zoning Codes and the Adoption of LEED in Michigan Cities

May 2020
Michael Ngan

Because of an absence of federal policies in the US mandating green building certification, this paper aims to explore if local policy efforts can, as an alternative, effectively drive sustainable design and increase the number of green buildings. To understand this, incentives for the adoption of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is used as a suitable indicator. By analyzing zoning codes of individual cities in Michigan with data from the US Green Building Council (USGBC), it has been observed that local policies that mention “LEED” does have a positive impact on the actual amount of LEED projects and their levels of certification, but the small size of the dataset also calls administrators to action and to expand the statewide coverage of green buildings, particularly with respect to LEED certification.