Is There a Problem with LEED?

Christine Bullen, GSC Board

If you are not familiar with the publication Miller-McCune, I recommend it as an extremely useful source for information on leading edge issues in our society. In a recent issue, there was an article about a lawsuit challenging the claims of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. This program is run by the U.S. Green Building Council and their website is a source for information about the certification and its application. It was officially launched in 2000.

The lawsuit is being brought by Henry Gifford, who designs mechanical systems for energy-efficient buildings, and works primarily in New York City. While admitting that the LEED certification has had a very positive effect in making people aware of the need for energy-efficient buildings, he challenges the notion that LEED-certified buildings save as much energy as the US Green Building Council claims. His lawsuit was filed in October 2010 for $100 million. There are other building industry experts who agree with Gifford and have documented energy shortfalls in LEED-certified buildings. Read more