||[Apr. 21st, 2007|10:09 am]
Promoting the LEED green building system.
At the moment I'm taking a class exploring a potential new USGBC standard, the Living Building Challenge. Conceived as a possible next step beyond LEED, the LBC is a set of prerequisites one must meet, very much pass/fail, all or nothing. No points are given and there is no degree of achievement. Either the building meets the challenge or it doesn't. The metrics are as yet vague or I'd give more info to you, but the basic idea is to create a stringent standard.|
As much as I love that LEED has been and continues to be adopted by builders and clients, it can be gamed to one degree or another. For example, Museum Place in Portland has been LEED certified without any consideration of stormwater and very little done in the interest of energy efficiency beyond current code requirements. Most points came from the location of the building itself in the relatively dense urban setting and the fact that it was a pre-existing structure, things the developer was doing anyway. While I in no way want to diminish the fact that the developer did a good thing in building where they did, given that they were going to anyway how does this move us forward in any meaningful way? And should we accept this as a victory for LEED, or maybe a victory over LEED? As well, it's possible to build a LEED certified McMansion. Not easy, maybe, but the system is forgiving enough that some practices that are particularly questionable don't rule out a fairly high certification. Is a LEED Gold home built on virgin wetlands a good thing?
So my question is this: Given what you know of LEED, and of competing metrics, what would you change? And how might those changes alter the current enthusiasm for the systems adoption?