The hottest topic for architects and developers in the green building industry is "How well do green buildings actually perform?" How do we know that these environmentally-friendly designs significantly reduce energy consumption and produce measurably better water conservation?

Jerry Yudelson says, "I decided to find out!" Yudelson and co-author Professor Ulf Meyer of Berlin, Germany, has compiled the most extensive research to date on the measurable performance of LEED Platinum or equivalent buildings. "With 55 case studies from 18 countries, we found out what to expect from high-performance green buildings in most of the major climate zones around the world," said Yudelson

The World's Greenest Buildings, from UK publisher Routledge, looks at buildings constructed since 2003, which were willing to release a year's worth of energy use data and, where possible, water use data. In order to be included in this green building book, buildings had to have a LEED Platinum or equivalent top rating from a nationAl Green building rating program, represent a non-residential type, and be at least 50,000-sq.ft. in size.

"We were aiming at the top-rated green buildings built in the past 10 years," said Yudelson, "with the goal of giving guidance to future projects in terms of best-practice energy and water performance, but also to refute the claims that green buildings don't perform. In fact, the average building we profile uses almost two-thirds less energy than the 2003 average of U.S. commercial buildings."

Praise for the book comes from academics and practitioners around the world:

"Yudelson and Meyer have identified global design exemplars that integrate architecture and context, economics and social responsibility, performance and aesthetics, demonstrating exciting solutions to meet the challenges of creating a more sustainable world."
Bruce Kuwabara, founding partner, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, Toronto

"This book's important mission is to make the most plausible case that 'post-fossil planet- and people-friendly architecture' is the only way to go."
Professor Martin Despang, University of Hawaii School of Architecture, Honolulu

"This is information we have all been waiting for; while offering a global overview of green buildings, it helps to unlock the truth about the real performance of sustainable commercial architecture."
Professor Steffen Lehmann, University of South Australia, Adelaide