US Green Building Council Responds to LEED Critics

by | Mar 6, 2014

LEED logo bwEnergy use intensity is a poor overall measure of a building’s efficiency, the US Green Building Council’s Scot Horst says, in response to a report highly critical of the LEED green building standard.

“What it tells you is how much energy is being used,” Horst, who is senior vice president of LEED, told the National Review. “It doesn’t tell whether the space is being used efficiently.

“We know that we don’t want to incentivize empty buildings—Detroit would have the best EUI ever.

“We want buildings that are being used incredibly well that use the smallest amount of energy for the highest amount of use.”

A report out last Friday from the Environmental Policy Alliance found that EUIs for large, privately-owned, LEED-certified buildings in Washington, DC was higher than for their non-certified counterparts.

But Horst says Energy Star ratings are a better measure of efficiency because they factor in a number of relevant metrics. Using Energy Star ratings, commercial buildings in DC score in the 77th percentile nationwide for energy efficiency – and much of that is due to LEED, Horst says.

Takeaway: The US Green Building Council has critiqued a recent report, which relied on energy use intensity to declare LEED-certified buildings less energy efficient than their peers.

Tamar Wilner is Senior Editor at Environmental Leader PRO.

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