In this article from New Urban News, Philip Langdon looks at LEED, and identifies some ways the system works well and other ways it can improve.
"By most accounts, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program - LEED - has been a great success. Since being launched in 1998 by the US Green Building Council, LEED has expanded impressively, influencing more than three billion square feet of building space. LEED certification programs are now offered for new construction, existing buildings, commercial interiors, building cores and shells, and schools. Additional programs are on the way - for homes, campuses, retail, laboratories, and health care."
"Yet until the pilot phase of the LEED-ND (Neighborhood Development) program got under way in July, the LEED system, which defines high-performance green buildings, struck me as woefully incomplete. How could anyone believe that improving the energy performance of individual buildings is sufficient if the buildings are in locations that require enormous quantities of oil for transportation?"
"LEED-ND can help. If a large proportion of American developments were designed to LEED-ND standards - in compact, mixed-use, walkable, and transit-oriented configurations - environmental degradation might be lessened. The participation of 238 development projects in the LEED-ND program is a step toward this important goal."