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Nearly half of public owners in the U.S. have implemented construction projects with energy efficient designs in the past year, and more than two-thirds used LEED standards in their design, according to a recent study by PinnacleOne, a national construction consulting firm.

LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, standards are those developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, a leading organization in the green building movement.

The study, "The 2006 PinnacleOne Pulse of U.S. Public Construction," was based on a national telephone survey of 166 public owners involved in construction projects throughout the U.S. found:

70% of owners who implemented energy efficient designs during the one-year study period said their designed received LEED certification—71% silver certification, and 29% gold certification. None received the highest level of certification, platinum.

24% of owners who implemented energy efficient designs used them in renovation projects, 34% did so in new construction, and 42% used energy savings designs in both new and existing facilities.

43% of these owners preferred to outsource design and construction while maintaining ownership and management. 45% did no outsourcing, while 10% outsourced all aspects of the projects.

Owners in the Northeast and West were most likely to implement energy efficient projects—74% in the Northeast and 62% in western states.

Owners in the education sector were more than twice as likely to use green designs than those in other industries.

Less than half of owners in the West who used green designs sought LEED certification—47%.