The General Services Administration (GSA) is evaluating the continued use of LEED as its mandated green building construction evaluation system. Since its adoption, and since the USGBC has been working on a more stringent version of LEED for 2012 other interests have been complaining about the GSA’s preferential use of LEED versus other “green” building systems. These complaints are simply not founded in reality.
The recently released sustainability and energy “scorecard” by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) supports the continued use of LEED by the GSA. The report notes that:
- The GSA earned the highest rating in all categories in the 2011 sustainability scorecard released from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
- The GSA reduced emissions from federal buildings more than 20 percent compared with 2008. That incredible reduction led all federal agencies.
- The GSA is ahead of schedule in reducing its potable water and electricity use.
We can directly relate these improvements to the adoption of the LEED building standard.
Further, the OMB notes that these investments are expected to save $18 billion in energy costs over the life of the projects within the building portfolio.
It is simply not in the economic best interests of the Country to reduce our efforts at sustainability within the building portfolio at this time. It is certainly not in our interest to water down standards to lesser rating systems.