LEED Criticisms

There’s a whole hullabaloo (and that’s just one relatively respectful article) in the green building community these days about deficiencies in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system. LEED is the primary rating system in the United States for green buildings of all different kinds, and is pretty comprehensive in its scope, including everything from energy efficiency to indoor air quality, to construction practices, to water use and lumber sources. I did a lot of research into LEED when I was interning at a local green building nonprofit the summer of 2007. While I don’t think LEED is the be-all-and-end-all of green building evaluation, and what matters more than the rating system are the practices, it seems to me that LEED is pretty darn good. I haven’t read the criticisms to any level of thoroughness, but my initial impression is that yes, there are probably ways LEED can improve, but many of the criticism are driven either by developers looking for ways to avoid stringent standards, or by proponents of competing rating systems greedy for the upper hand. That said, I think there are some awesome alternative green building standards, such as PassivHaus. But I don’t think LEED deserves all the heat it’s gotten recently. I’ll probably read more about this in the future, but I bet some of you readers have an interesting perspective on this topic. What do you think?

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