“LEEDing from Behind: The Rise and Fall of Green Building” is a survey piece by Community Solutions executive director Pat Murphy that reviews the significant body of critical commentary on the energy performance of LEED buildings that emerged beginning in 2005 with Randy Udall and Auden Schendler’s seminal “LEED Is Broken – Let’s Fix It” article. Mr. Murphy’s stated purpose in writing his piece was to “show the history of the dialogue about LEED energy performance.” Many of the articles cited will be familiar to you, but this is the first time that I have seen all of them organized chronologically with their key points about LEED-related building performance highlighted. I think that reviewing the piece is extremely instructive in terms of framing both green building policy-related issues, as well as corresponding risk management considerations, from a much broader perspective. The article is the first in a three-part series in which Mr. Murphy will subsequently analyze the LEED premium and alternatives to the LEED rating system from a similar angle.
In this first piece, Mr. Murphy concludes that “[t]here has been concern with the LEED rating system relative to energy and CO2 since its inception. . . . LEED has failed to lead in the important areas that are measurable. Initially, [USGBC] adopted a weak status relative to energy consumption. [It] did not recognize and incorporate accountability and verification, unfortunately wasting years that could have providing important feedback relative to energy use. [It] has also not clearly and honestly communicated that LEED is not an exemplary indication of energy performance.” This final thought, of course, is of particular note in the context of many green building legal issues and why Mr. Murphy’s piece will likely serve as a critical backdrop to associated risk management strategies for stakeholders moving forward.
I encourage you to print off this first article, review it, and share your thoughts below in the comments; we’ll be adding the entire series to our Resources section here at GRELJ once it’s available.
- LEEDing From Behind (Community Solutions)