Buildings That Are Green But Not Energy-Efficient

LEED-certified buildings may be constructed with little energy, but some are just as energy-intensive as non "green" buildings once they're in use. This disconnect is prompting the U.S. Green Building Council to change its rules.
September 1, 2009, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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USGBC will now begin collecting information on energy use by certified buildings for their first five years of operations. Some buildings certified by the LEED system have trouble keeping energy use down.

"Builders covet LEED certification - it stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - as a way to gain tax credits, attract tenants, charge premium rents and project an image of environmental responsibility. But the gap between design and construction, which LEED certifies, and how some buildings actually perform led the program last week to announce that it would begin collecting information about energy use from all the buildings it certifies.

Buildings would provide the information voluntarily, said officials with the United States Green Building Council, the nonprofit organization that administers the LEED program, and the data would be kept confidential. But starting this year, the program also is requiring all newly constructed buildings to provide energy and water bills for the first five years of operation as a condition for certification. The label could be rescinded if the data is not produced, the officials said."

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Published on Sunday, August 30, 2009 in The New York Times
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