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Posts tagged Rich Cartlidge.

We have previously discussed the New York Times article criticizing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating systems developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its arguable lack of translation to improved energy efficiency.  We also discussed energy codes and their interplay with LEED and ongoing reporting.  More recently, similar concerns were raised with respect to performance of LEED certified buildings at Dartmouth College (hat tip to Rich Cartlidge who wrote a nice piece on this topic with an ensuing series of good comments). Stephen Del Percio of Green Real Estate Law Journal has similarly analyzed the 2007 reports from the University of Massachusetts that found various LEED certified buildings used significantly more energy than anticipated under applicable modeling used for the LEED certification process.

The recent New York Times piece criticizing LEED (discussed previously) has reignited discussion of the potential for decertification after initial issuance of LEED certification. Some previously pointed to the USGBC addition of extended energy reporting for five years after occupancy as a "Minimum Performance Requirement" and the threat of decertification as an enforcement mechanism.  More recently, commentators have predicted recertification programs.  Rich Cartlidge even called for a wedding between LEED for New Construction and LEED for Existing Buildings.

The USGBC changes must be viewed against the backdrop of the development of international, state and local building codes and even Congressional legislation.  Codified efficiency standards would clearly and immediately raise the minimum energy bar across the board and reduce or eliminate some of the arguments raised by the Times article.  Reducing compliance to clear codes may also reduce in part the increasingly complex interface between local authorities interpreting prescriptive codes and the interpretive voluntary third party organization subject to little if any legal challenge or appeal (commented on previously by Chris Hill).   LEED as a voluntary tool has succeeded in driving the dialogue and advancing knowledge of green building.  LEED as a remotely delegated code interpretative structure with limited avenues of legal challenge is far more complicated.