Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, green-building score sponsored by U.S. Green Building Council

Six Myths of Sustainable Design

Posted on April 20,2015 by LanceHosey in green building

A couple of weeks ago, the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce published an opinion piece titled, "Why green building has hit the wall, and what to do about it." The author, long-time green building advocate Jerry Yudelson, laments the relatively low rate of green building certification and asks, "Why hasn't the current system had more marketplace success?"

Green Buildings Get a Loan Break

Posted on April 20,2015 by ScottG in Energy Star

Fannie Mae, the largest provider of financing for multifamily projects in the country, says that it has started giving loan discounts on properties with a green-building certification.

LEED Posts Top 10 List

Posted on April 20,2015 by ScottG in commercial construction

The U.S. Green Building Council released its list of top 10 states for LEED-certified commercial and industrial space in 2014, collectively adding up to more than 5,700 acres.

A New Green Building Ordinance in Decatur, Georgia

Posted on April 20,2015 by CarlSeville in ASHRAE 62.2

The city I live in, Decatur, Georgia — a great, if possibly overly gentrified, place to live — recently passed a unified development ordinance (UDO) requiring green building certification for all new buildings and most renovations — both residential and commercial.

A First Look at the Official WELL Building Standard

Posted on April 20,2015 by CarlSeville in AP

When I first heard about the WELL building standard, in a New York Times article, I was both amused and offended, and trashed it appropriately in a blog.

Federal Agencies Can Pick the Green Rating System They Like

Posted on April 20,2015 by ScottG in Green Globes

The U.S. Department of Energy won't be directing federal agencies to use any particular green-building rating system when they design new buildings and plan major renovations. But whatever system they choose will have to meet certain criteria. Rather than choose the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED system or the competing Green Globes program — both of which have been found to be acceptable by the General Services Administration (GSA) — the rule leaves the choice to agency planners.

New Effort Will Streamline Green Building Standards

Posted on April 20,2015 by ScottG in ASHRAE

Five of the country's most influential developers of construction industry standards have announced a joint effort to create a single green standard that would be more coherent and cohesive than the jumble of overlapping green building standards and regulations that currently exist.

Multifamily Green Building Certification Still Has Issues

Posted on April 20,2015 by CarlSeville in air sealing

Much of my work these days involves certification of multifamily buildings, and, thanks to a boom in apartment construction, my partner and myself are staying occupied. The one major contrast from single-family residential work, with which I am most familiar from my days as a contractor, is the long lead time. I still find it amusing that I sign a contract, have an initial start-up meeting with the developer and contractor, and often don’t see the project for another year or more, when the builder is ready for our insulation and air-sealing inspections.

Are LEED-Certified Buildings Energy-Efficient?

Posted on April 20,2015 by JimNewman1 in energy efficiency

There has been some heated discussion lately about how much energy LEED-certified buildings use. When the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) first came out with its Version 1 LEED Guideline in 2000, a building could earn LEED certification without any points in the energy section. In the early 2000s, making a building more energy-efficient than the building codes was more of a challenge for architects and engineers than it is today. When applying for LEED certification, they would attempt the “easier” and often less expensive points available under other credits.

Can’t Anyone Get Things Right?

Posted on April 20,2015 by CarlSeville in duct

In my business of certifying buildings, most of my work involves working with architects, contractors, and trade contractors who are trying to create green buildings. Unfortunately, they frequently miss the mark in some key areas. Many of them are well intended but don’t have a broad enough view of their projects. Others only do the minimum required to meet a green building standard forced on them by someone else. And a few, thankfully, seem to get it and work hard to do the right things. This post, the first in a series about problems I run across, will focus on HVAC.

Website Targets LEED Program

Posted on April 20,2015 by ScottG in Environmental Policy Alliance

A Washington lawyer and public relations powerhouse who has railed against everything from the Environmental Protection Agency to Mothers Against Drunk Driving now has the LEED building standard in his sights. At a website called LEEDexposed, the building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council is attacked on a number of fronts: for its "questionable science," its "arbitrary point system," and its cost to taxpayers. It didn't take long for the website and some of its claims to make a splash.

Key West Adopts a Green Building Requirement

Posted on April 20,2015 by ScottG in climate change

Key West, Florida, has toughened residential building requirements with a new provision making green certification mandatory. In 1993, the city adopted the Building Permit Allocation System Ordinance that limited development, and in November the City Commission updated the ordinance green building provisions.

Recent Changes to LEED for Homes — Part 1

Posted on April 20,2015 by AnnEdminster in LEED

My perspective on the latest version of the LEED for Homes standard (version 4) has an inescapably historic slant. This doesn’t mean that I categorically reject change. In fact, much as a parent reserves the right to be her child’s most ardent fan and harshest critic at times, I have not been at all hesitant to point out flaws in LEED for Homes over the years since the launch of the pilot.

U.S. Government Gives LEED Rival a Boost

Posted on April 20,2015 by ScottG in Green Building Initiative

The General Services Administration, the agency in charge of the federal government's vast portfolio of real estate, is recommending that either LEED or an alternative system called Green Globes is suitable for rating new construction and renovation projects.

Keeping Green on the Right Track

Posted on April 20,2015 by Ecovrn in bicycle

Green building programs have a tendency to focus on the means rather than the end, to the point of not even identifying a comprehensive end goal. Two examples illustrate my point. The first example is a bit like the game of “gossip” or “telephone” that we used to play around the campfire. You know, one person whispers something into the ear of the next person, who whispers what they thought they heard to the next person, until it has gone around the circle. Invariably, the final wording is absurdly different from the original.

LEED-Platinum Skyscraper is an ‘Energy Hog’

Posted on April 20,2015 by ScottG in Greenwashing

Opened in 2010, the Bank of America Tower in New York City was praised as a model of sustainability. But the LEED-Platinum building has proved to be anything but, according to an article by Sam Roudman in the New Republic.

The U.S. Now Has 37,000 LEED Housing Units

Posted on April 20,2015 by ScottG in LEED

The U.S. Green Building Council says it will release green building market reports for all 50 states over the course of the summer, beginning with Florida. In an announcement posted at the USGBC web site, technical policy director Jeremy Sigmon said the reports would cover "green building facts, figures, policy context, stand-out projects and more."

Multifamily Construction is Good News for Green Building

Posted on April 20,2015 by CarlSeville in EarthCraft

Recently, while doing research for a series of articles I am writing for Multifamily Executive Magazine, I ran across some interesting information on the multifamily construction industry and the increasing demand for green certified buildings. Affordable housing, much of which is multifamily, has been leading the way in green building for many years, much of this due to incentives tied to low income housing tax credits (LIHTC) that promote certified projects.

U.S. Green Building Council Marks 20th Anniversary

Posted on April 20,2015 by ScottG in Fedrizzi

The U.S. Green Building Council, the organization that launched the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for new and renovated buildings, marks its 20th birthday this month. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a nonprofit association that promotes sustainable materials and building practices.

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