Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Evan Kresch


Environmental standards, LEED certification, Avoidance behavior


LEED certification is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. The certification is a symbol of sustainability achievement, and on November 1st, 2016, the rating system transitioned into a more stringent one. Using data on the LEED applicants, this paper studies the applicants' behavior response to the transition. The analysis yields three main results. First, the total number of applicants to LEED increased significantly in October 2016 and decreased drastically once more rigorous standards are in place. Second, the proportion of applicants receiving the basic certification is significantly higher for applicants that bunched in October 2016. Lastly, individually owned projects account for the majority of applications that bunched in October 2016. These findings demonstrate that many LEED applicants, specifically individual applicants, actively avoided the more stringent environmental standards and tried to be certified before the transition with little effort.

Included in

Economics Commons