Yesterday I wrote an article discussing the woes that the USGBC’s LEED Rating System has been facing the past few months. My blog post came about after reading an article in the online edition of Fast Company in which the energy efficiency of LEED certified buildings was being questioned. As is the case with every news item, there is more than one side to the story. Today I’m looking at the LEED woes from a different perspective.
Lloyd Alter wrote a piece for Treehugger about the Fast Company article. In his post, LEED-bashing Reaches New Heights in Fast Company, Alter discusses how he has found himself “in the uncomfortable position of defending” the LEED bashing. Alter’s response to the increased energy use by the ImaginOn theaters put a smile on my face:
“As if the USGBC should be saying "I am sorry, Mr. Imaginon owner, you are not allowed to be more successful, have more customers and run more hours than originally planned. It will mess up the projections." Source: Treehugger
In today’s struggling economy, we definitely don’t want to discourage business owners from increasing their operating hours and possibly hiring more workers to cover these expanded hours.
In the post I published yesterday, Samantha shares the same sentiment in her comment:
“There is no way to accurately predict a building's energy use if it hasn't been built — that's why LEED relies on energy models. If an owner changes the hours of the building operation then the energy use goes up — it's not rocket science.”
Nope, it’s not rocket science. In fact it makes perfect sense. I would be curious to see how the ImaginOn theatre’s energy use compares to a non-LEED certified building, even with the expanded operating hours.
Regardless of your stance on LEED bashing or the efficacy of the LEED rating system, I would venture to guess that some would agree with my statement that looking at the LEED rating system with a more critical eye is beneficial to the green building industry as a whole.