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October 13, 2011 / or4green

LEED Controversy

A law suit accusing the USGBC of false advertising with its LEED green building standard was dismissed. There is a good write-up about this on the CT-based green building blog “buildingCTGreen”. Here is an excerpt:

… the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a false advertising suit filed by a group of plaintiffs, led by New York City-based engineer Henry Gifford, against the U.S. Green Building Council. This case was closely watched by many professionals in the building industry because of its potential to be a game changing event for green buildings and the US GBC. It also highlighted a growing movement for better transparency and disclosure of building performance data

I did not follow this case, but I did look into some of Gifford’s critiques back in 2009 (see this post), and I did think there was some merit to them. A central claim of the law suit had to do with a New Building Institute study claim that LEED buildings save 25-30% more energy than standard buildings. Even beyond this suit, LEED does seem to be dogged in some quarters by the under-performance issue, with it sometimes being attributed to improper building operation. Nevertheless, LEED is still going strong and has taken up the operations challenge with its “Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance” rating system. See this page for more info.

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