Non-compliance means penalties, disputes and litigation. This is why I say governments that are requiring LEED certification for private construction are setting the stage for the green building legal apocalypse.Airtight windows, energy-efficient appliances and low-flush toilets would all be mandatory in certain new private developments in the District under a bill that the D. A similar law was passed last week by the Montgomery County Council.I am big on not using a lot of words or bullet points on slides so I am not sure how helpful the slideshow will be, but I am happy to answer any questions you may have about it in the comments section.There is one central theme of our presentation: Municipal governments should stop mandating LEED certification for private construction.I could run through all of the reasons -- there is no proper enforcement mechanism, there will be increased LEEDigation -- but in my mind, the creator of the LEED rating system, the U. Green Building Council, makes the most powerful argument for not mandating private-construction LEED certification: This picture is taken from the USGBC white paper, "Greening the Codes" (pdf).The hyphenated vertical line represents the current market. The anticipated vote would make the District the first major city in the United States to require private developers to make some new buildings efficient users of energy and friendly to the environment.Hopefully, we will soon see a day where all buildings in New York, government-managed and otherwise, will meet sustainable standards. The OGS Design and Construction unit already assigns a LEED professional to every single design project and has a total of 31 certified designers on hand.
As you may already know, New York is the home of Inhabitat’s main headquarters and we are super proud to announce that Governor Paterson has just signed the State Green Building Construction Act mandating that all government-owned new construction and major renovations must meet green building guidelines!We think it’s highly commendable of Governor Paterson to lead our state towards a more sustainable future by setting this momentous example. Green Building Council’s LEED certification system is the most well-known green building standard in the world, New York’s State Green Building Construction Act will be taking an alternate approach and will be based off of guidelines that the state’s Office of General Services will be crafting from scratch.Above the green building codes are LEED Platinum, Gold, Silver and Certified certification levels. If you need evidence that LEED certification was never meant to be a building code, and should not be a building code, use this picture. By mandating LEED certification for all private construction, a government essentially makes LEED certification a building code, a minimum. Green Building Council is telling us not to use LEED certification for private-construction mandates.LEED certification is supposed to represent buildings that have gone beyond the building code. LEED certification is a high bar, and if certification is mandated, not everyone will comply.
The upward-sloping blue area at the bottom represents building codes.
The dashed line above the blue area represents green building codes.