Currently Reading

USGBC defends LEED’s efficacy after critical USA Today story

USGBC defends LEED’s efficacy after critical USA Today story

Dwight Perkins | November 19, 2012

The U.S. Green Building Council is fighting back after an article published late last month in USA Today claimed that across the country, the USGBC has helped thousands of developers to win millions of dollars’ worth of tax breaks by awarding certification under a system that rewards minor, low-cost steps that have little or no proven environmental benefit. The 50-story Palazzo Las Vegas Resort Hotel (LEED Silver), the report charges, is set to reap $27 million in tax breaks over 10 years for its LEED Silver certification even though in many cases developers took the easiest and cheapest steps in building design.

USGBC president and chief executive officer Rick Fedrizzi says many of the strategies the article criticized: low-flow toilets, use of recycled building materials, dedicated hybrid parking spaces, proximity to transportation and being situated in densely populated areas are actually important strategies that helped deliver thousands of better buildings across the world. “USGBC is proud that these measures that were once deemed exceptional are now industry standard,” he says. “That is why we keep raising the bar. We may be the only organization that has created a program that when the market really starts to like it, we make it more challenging.”

While widely accepted in the U.S. design and construction industries, LEED has been under fire from many quarters this year. How LEED fares in the court of public opinion, may depend largely on the public response to media stories such as the one published by USA Today.



More In Category

Mass Timber

Five Things Construction Specialties Learned from Shaking a 10-Story Building

Construction Specialties (CS) is the only manufacturer in the market that can claim its modular stair system can withstand 100 earthquakes. Thanks to extensive practical testing conducted this spring at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) on the tallest building ever to be seismically tested, CS has identified five significant insights that will impact all future research and development in stair solutions.


NIST investigation of Champlain Towers South collapse indicates no sinkhole

Investigators from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) say they have found no evidence of underground voids on the site of the Champlain Towers South collapse, according to a new NIST report. The team of investigators have studied the site’s subsurface conditions to determine if sinkholes or excessive settling of the pile foundations might have caused the collapse. 

Codes and Standards

New rule mandates annual parapet inspections for New York City buildings

In November 2021, New York City enacted Local Law 126 of 2021, which is well-known in the building industry for establishing new requirements for periodic parking garage inspections. At the same time, the legislation added a section to the NYC Administrative Code mandating periodic observation of building parapets. To allow owners time to prepare, the City set the start date for the new parapet observations for January 1, 2024.


Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021