From: Bob Faulhaber, Green Economy Post, Matter Network, More from this Affiliate
Published March 11, 2011 08:24 AM

In Defense of LEED

You may have already heard, but there's a lawsuit pending against the USGBC. The plaintiffs claim that they are "losing customers because USGBC's false advertisements mislead the consumer into believing that obtaining LEED certification incorporates construction techniques that achieve energy-efficiency." If you're looking for an article that jumps on that train, you're in the wrong place. I think this lawsuit is seriously misguided, and draws attention away from all of the positive consequences of the USGBC's work.


The truth is that LEED is flawed and imperfect, but I don't think that the USGBC ever claimed it was perfect or the end all of green buildings. What the USGBC did/does say is that they want LEED to encourage market transformation, which I think they have already achieved. I have been involved with the USGBC and LEED on several levels and here is what I know and believe about LEED.

1. It has created AWARENESS – I don't think that there is any doubt that LEED and the USGBC have brought widespread awareness to green buildings. Does a building have to be LEED certified to be green – of course not. Nor does certification guarantee that a building is more green than another which is not, but it does carry weight. They may call it LEEDS, but in general LEED has brought more visibility to the green building market than anything else I can think of. And that's a positive thing – the more we can get people talking and thinking about green buildings and sustainability, the better off we are.

2. It has generated INVOLVEMENT – The USGBC and LEED have brought individuals and groups to the green building table that would not have participated in the absence of LEED. Whether they like it or not most design and construction professionals have recognized that LEED is here to stay and as a result have jumped on board. They might not be enthusiastic about green buildings at first, but becoming involved usually allows them to see the value and sense in green building.

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