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Monday LEEDoff: Nevada Weighs Adding Green Globes to 2005 LEED Legislation and Prompts Debate in State Assembly

One of the major aims of this blog during the past few months has been to argue in favor of increased competition among green building rating systems. Owners and municipalities should demand performance from their green buildings regardless of the rating system that the project team chose to implement prior to handing out incentives or evaluating compliance with a local building code.

To that end, it caught my interest to read that Nevada is considering adding the Green Globes system to its 2005 green building legislation which provided a fifty percent property tax reduction over the course of ten years for LEED certified buildings. Assembly Bill 295 would add Green Globes to that legislation and is being largely driven by lobbyists from the timber industry who claim that LEED’s purview is too restrictive. (LEED will only certify Forest Stewardship Council wood products, which according to the timber industry are too expensive, account for only five percent of the available lumber market, and consequently force green project teams to opt for higher environmental impact but lower cost steel and concrete materials).

Again, it’s the product- and not the process- that the industry should care about. Whether that process is LEED or Green Globes shouldn’t matter- for some projects, LEED makes sense while for others Green Globes or some other system might be a better option. Competition drives innovation and in the green building context, innovation equals performance. That bottom line is what owners and municipalities need to keep in mind. As the Nevada State Assembly continues to debate Bill 295, it will be interesting to see whether performance is a major thrust in how the 2005 legislation is revised- if at all.

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