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Media recognizes USGBC for greenwashing

The cover story today (with two complete inside pages!) for USA Today is a scathing attack on the USGBC and LEED for certifying all-glass buildings and even an over-the-top Las Vegas Casino. The article is chock-full of information which is going to be hard to ignore, I think.

I'm not qualified, from a building science point of view, to comment on the substance, but from a consumer point of view the article calls into doubt much of what the USGBC gives points for and ... through guilt by association and the admitted ignorance of most consumers probably ... other attempts to "certify" green construction.

If you can't get a copy of the paper, there is a brief video (5-1/2 minutes) online which summarizes:

http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/nation/2012/10/24/1653707/

At GREENINC.USATODAY.COM there is a database of the features that won points for 7100 buildings as compiled by the newspaper's data-base editor and a reporter.

Tomorrow, the paper plans to describe "How business interests became a powerful force on the Green Building Council" as well as how "Big changes could be coming to LEED -- but they won't be required until 2015."

For me, personally, the continual barrage of info confusing efficient building with profit and/or ego continues to direct my attention to the merits of the PGH ("pretty good house") approach. (I was not paid for the preceding endorsement.)

Asked by JoeW N GA Zone 3A
Posted Wed, 10/24/2012 - 18:46
Edited Thu, 10/25/2012 - 06:28

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3 Answers

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Joe,
Thanks for the heads up. The USA Today video focuses on commercial, not residential, construction: specifically, the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas, an unlikely green icon.

The twist to the Palazzo story is that this huge palace in the desert received a $27 million tax break as a result of its LEED designation.

Here's a link to the relevant USA Today article on the Palazzo.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Thu, 10/25/2012 - 04:48

3.
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Here's a link to the latest USA Today story: 'Green' growth fuels an entire industry.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Fri, 10/26/2012 - 10:46

4.
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Further discussion of the USA Today article and the LEED certification granted to the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas can be found in the comments section accompanying Allison Bailes' recent blog, Why Is the U.S. Green Building Council So Out of Touch?

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Thu, 11/01/2012 - 03:59

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