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LEED certification: gold standard or gold star

Description

Since its launch by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification has been postured as the "gold standard" for environmentally conscious, sustainable building design, construction and operations. However, as a "living measurement", one

Since its launch by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification has been postured as the "gold standard" for environmentally conscious, sustainable building design, construction and operations. However, as a "living measurement", one which requires ongoing evaluation and reporting of attainment and compliance with LEED certification requirements, there is none. Once awarded, LEED certification does not have a required reporting component to effectively track continued adherence to LEED standards. In addition, there is no expiry tied to the certification; once obtained, a LEED certification rating is presumed to be a valid representation of project certification status. Therefore, LEED lacks a requirement to demonstrate environmental impact of construction materials and building systems over the entire life of the project. Consequently, LEED certification is merely a label rather than a true representation of ongoing adherence to program performance requirements over time. Without continued monitoring and reporting of building design and construction features, and in the absence of recertification requirements, LEED is, in reality, a gold star rather than a gold standard. This thesis examines the lack of required ongoing monitoring, reporting, or recertification requirements following the award by the USGBC of LEED certification; compares LEED with other international programs which do have ongoing reporting or recertification requirements; demonstrates the need and benefit of ongoing reporting or recertification requirements; and explores possible methods for implementation of mandatory reporting requirements within the program.

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Date Created
2013