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Monday, August 31, 2009

Some LEED Buildings Fail to Remain "Green"

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Very interesting article in the New York Times today about LEED buildings falling short of green goals. One of the problems with LEED (though Slate spells out a few more) is that it just relates to how a new building is constructed and does not follow up with how the building actually functions day-to-day after snagging the silver, gold or platinum LEED seal.

The NYT writes: "The gap between design and construction, which LEED certifies, and how some buildings actually perform led the program last week to announce that it would begin collecting information about energy use from all the buildings it certifies."

This is all highly relevant to Portland because just last week neighbors and city commissioners were questioning whether the new Albert Apartment complex on N. Williams will actually be a green building. After learning that some of the bedrooms in the building would be interior rooms with no windows, Commissioner Amanda asked, "How would you meet LEED silver if you constantly have to have a light on in the bedroom?"

One of the experts in the NYT article must have seen straight into Fritz's heart! Look at this quote:

"Once a building opens, it may use more energy than was predicted by the design. And how a building is used — how many occupants it has, for example — affects its energy consumption. 'If the occupants don’t turn off the lights, the building doesn’t do as well as expected,' said Mark Frankel, technical director for the New Buildings Institute."

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