From: Jim Keener, Platts
Published September 24, 2004 10:14 AM

Future of Green Building Credit System in Jeopardy, According to Platts Report

BOULDER, CO, September 23, 2004 The long term viability of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is at risk, according to a recent report by Platts, the energy information division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. The LEED system, created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is designed to accelerate the development and implementation of green building practices.

"LEED has successfully created a framework that enables a wide variety of construction industry players to offer green building features as standardized options," said Jay Stein, a managing director of technology research at Platts and coauthor of the report. "But that success has not come without cost."

In making the LEED system simple enough to allow mainstream industry players to participate in green building projects, much of the critical information that designers and clients need to make informed choices has been lost. The report, titled Ensuring the Sustainability of Sustainable Design,cites two key problems: Buildings that earn more LEED credits do not necessarily provide more environmental benefits than buildings that earn fewer credits, and some of the techniques LEED encourages are not consistently a superior means of reducing environmental impacts.

Stein notes that the USGBC is concerned about these issues, which threaten the credibility of the LEED rating system, but the process to fix them could take several years. "Designers need techniques they can use now to help ensure the sustainability of the LEED rating system."

On Tuesday, October 5, at 1:00 p.m. MST, Stein and coauthor Rachel Reiss will discuss their findings in a web conference for architects, engineers and designers, who can earn continuing education units from the American Institute of Architects for participating. Stein and Reiss will be recommending techniques that can improve the long-term viability of the LEED rating system. This web conference is jointly sponsored by McGraw-Hill Construction which, like Platts, is a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

For more information about Ensuring the Sustainability of Sustainable Design and the October 5 web conference, visit

Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, is the world leader in providing energy information. For nearly a century, Platts has helped to enable ever-changing global energy markets enhance their performance through such offerings as independent industry news and price benchmarks. From 14 offices worldwide, Platts covers the oil, natural gas, electricity, nuclear power, coal, petrochemical and metals markets. Additional information on Platts real-time news and price assessment services, publications, databases, geospatial tools, conferences, magazines, research and analytical services and energy financial services is available at

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, BusinessWeek and McGraw-Hill Education. The corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2003 were $4.8 billion. Additional information is available at
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Jim Keener
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