Skip to comments.Donít LEED Us Astray
Posted on 05/24/2010 8:58:34 PM PDT by Lorianne
TODAY Al Gore is expected to join some of the citys top developers and bankers for the grand opening of the luminous office tower known as 1 Bryant Park the second-tallest building in New York City and, with a handsome foyer and a roster of prominent tenants, a ray of hope in a gloomy commercial real estate market.
But beyond its height and tenancy rates, 1 Bryant Park is slated to be the only office tower in the nation to draw the United States Green Building Councils highest level of certification platinum in its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, the most widely used green-building measure in the country.
The LEED program, which awards points for incorporating eco-friendly material and practices into buildings design and construction, has led to a sea change in the industry, introducing environmental awareness into everything from regulatory processes to rents.
But while the standard is well-intentioned, it is also greatly misunderstood. Put simply, a buildings LEED rating is more like a snapshot taken at its opening, not a promise of performance. Unless local, state and federal agencies do their part to ensure long-term compliance with the programs ideals, it could end up putting a shiny green stamp on a generation of unsustainable buildings.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
didn’t they give their seal of approval to a house that used three times as much fossil fuels as a regular house?
Achieving a LEED rating is comprised of two parts: promise of water- and energy-efficiency and other things based on (unproven and often woefully inaccurate) models, a snapshot of completed elements (such as materials re-use) at end of construction.. [Disclaimer: I haven't been into my LEED Reference Guides in months, and I'm not going to take the 10 to 15 minutes to check all these points right now.]
It is even quite possible to earn a LEED by being "green" in other things and ignoring the efficiency elements.
The Chinese 3 Star green building rating system overcomes some of this by establishing a trial period BEFORE the rating is awarded.
The industry is leaning on the US Green Building Council on this -- expect to see significant changes in the LEED systems in coming years (as there have been significant changes already).
It is possible. BUT you have to understand how the LEED rating system works. It is NOT about energy-efficiency, though that can earn you points. It is NOT about water-efficiency (well, most LEED rating systems), though that can earn you points. They have a number of areas in which one can earn points, to wit:
SS Sustainable Sites or Site Selection
WE Water Efficiency
EA Energy & Atmosphere
MR Materials & Resources
IE or EQ Indoor Environmental Quality
ID Innovation & Design Process
R Regional Bonus
Some of these have base requirements that must be met, all have additional points to earn and all that is necessary is that you have enough points to claim the rating level (certified, silver, gold, platinum).