Many accuse LEED of being too bureaucratic.
Some complain about the time and paperwork involved in documenting
applicable strategies. Others point to USGBCs reliance
on just one wood certification programForest Stewardship
Councilas too narrow-minded. And yet others describe
experiences in which LEED certifiers got so bogged down by
technical details that they lost sight of the tremendous environmental
progress being made right before their eyes by noteworthy
design and practice strategies.
| The new
International Energy Conservation Code defines
climate zones geographically rather than climatically,
reducing their number to eight from 19 and
making compliance simpler. Current versions
of LEED do not consider regional differences.
The list of complaints and suggestions
go onfrom frustration with the cost of pursuing certification
and a confusing energy-modeling protocol to a proposal that
the final evaluation be based on environmental-health indicators
(from habitat diversity to water quality) after the building
is up and running.
In addition to external critiques, LEED
is facing its first potential competitorGreen Globes,
a Web-based sustainable design tool for new commercial construction.
First released for the Canadian market several years ago,
Green Globes was adapted and brought to the U.S. in 2004 by
the Green Building Initiative (www.thegbi.org), which got
its start working with the National Association of Home Builders
to promote the associations Model Green Home Building
Guidelines. In a March 2005 article in Environmental Building
News, Nadav Malin wrote that GBI is supported by the
Wood Promotion Network and a number of other industry groups
that object to some provisions in LEED
Although Green Globes offers some features
not currently in LEEDincluding its online platform and
links to energy-modeling and LCA software toolsit still
lacks many of the characteristics that give LEED its strength.
According to Vivian Manasc of Manasc Isaac Architects in Edmonton,
Alberta, a founding member of Canadas Green Building
Council, No other rating system is as broadly based
in the marketplace as is LEED. With USGBCs 4,000-plus
members getting to vote on what is in the rating system, LEED
has large public input. Its easy to write an elegant
system as long as you dont have to deal with the messiness
of the marketplace.