Fedrizzi wonders why AIA has no LEED love; says lowest certification level could be phased out

November 08, 2007 |

U.S. Green Building Council President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi asked aloud why the American Institute of Architects will not recognize his organization’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification system at a forum at the council’s Greenbuild conference Wednesday night.

“I encourage the AIA to tell us what’s wrong with LEED that it can’t be recognized as a standard,” said Fedrizzi, after a screening of the PBS series Design E at Chicago’s Field Museum that focused on the Architecture 2030 standard, which AIA does recognize. “We don’t need AIA to tell us it’s the only green rating system that’s recognized, we just don’t think it needs to be studied or picked apart any longer.”

Fedrizzi went on to say that LEED is “not perfect” but is the best, consensus-based tool the industry currently has for rating green buildings. 

"AIA does not endorse any standards, at least at the present time," said Scott Frank, a spokesman for the AIA. "We want to continue to have a collaborative relationship with the USGBC, but  we would also like to see more stringent standards when it comes to energy and water conservation. AIA will be issuing an evaluation, according to AIA criteria, of all green building standards, LEED, Green Globes, and SBTool and that evaluation will be available in late December or early January."

Green Globes is a green building rating system developed by the Portland, Ore.-based Green Building Initiative. SB Tool is an international system used mainly in Europe.

When asked why there are so many LEED-rated buildings that only reach the lowest level of certification (LEED-certified) and so few (60) that reach the highest level, LEED-Platinum, Fedrizzi answered that as LEED evolves the council may remove the “certified” level of LEED.

“They’re harder to get (LEED-Platinum buildings),” Fedrizzi said. “We believe the different levels of LEED are valuable as long as they’re needed. We’re working with ASHRAE (American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers) right now on a new standard 189. When that happens, I believe we’ll get rid of the certified level of LEED.”

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