USGBC Under Fire

This isn’t new news by any means to those who follow the ongoing debate, but in October 2010 a class-action lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  The class-action lawsuit, filed by Henry Gifford, public critic of LEED (you may have read his Op-Eds in the New York Times), will most likely not be able to keep its “class-action” status, but it is most welcomed by me and many other hoping that this suit makes sure that the USGBC continues to be an honest organization and doesn’t alienate builders, developers, designers, architects, and building product manufacturers who choose not to pay the outrageous costs associated with have a development or building certified LEED.

Here is an excerpt from the court documents.  I really like how this is worded and to me it makes a ton of sense:

“What is needed is for any rating or certification program to focus on the integrated design, construction and occupancy phases more holistically, taking into account post-occupancy performance and verification that the energy-efficient and sustainable design and construction strategies are successful,” says Kerry Haglund, a senior research fellow with the University of Minnesota, Center for Sustainable Building Research. “The Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines is such a program that leads to a full accounting of the actual costs and benefits of sustainable building design and energy efficient strategies. The quick development of the LEED programs has resulted in a lot of good design and construction practices, and more importantly, awareness in the area of sustainability and at some point USGBC will probably integrate required post-occupancy performance metrics into its rating systems, which will be a natural progression of its ever-developing guidelines.”


Here is a NPR audio piece from “All Things Considered” that will fill you in on the whole debate: All Things Considered


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