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Debating LEED's worth I

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Thursday, March 27, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

The editorial “LEED certification: Big Green's lie” takes a deceptive view toward the well-respected and widely used LEED green building program.

The editorial references a “study” from the Environmental Policy Alliance. This “alliance” was recently exposed as a front group for Richard Berman and his gun-for-hire PR machine.

Berman is known as a stalwart supporter of business and industry over consumer, safety and environmental groups. LEED is Berman's latest target.

LEED has spurred explosive growth in higher quality buildings. LEED supports millions of U.S. jobs and contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy annually.

Right here in Pennsylvania, LEED is used by thousands of schools, hospitals and office buildings. LEED saves taxpayer dollars by conserving energy and water, which reduces utility bills. There are thousands of proven business cases around the world that demonstrate that LEED works.

The analysis referenced in the editorial relies on energy use intensity (EUI).

Isolating EUI to measure building energy use ignores the importance of the number of people using a building. A large, unoccupied building would score very well, because its energy use is quite low relative to size.

The editorial also states the EUI of the U.S. Green Building Council's headquarters is 236, when in fact the LEED Platinum space's EUI is 40.

This editorial does a disservice to LEED and to all of us who live and breathe in buildings every day.

Scot Horst

Washington, D.C.

The writer is senior vice president of LEED for the U.S. Green Building Council (

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