The Old Defeats the New (Usefulness of LEED?) (News Note)

Last week, I mentioned the renewal of the tax credits for wind energy.  Another report which came across my desk recently is one from SustainableBusiness.com, in which it is reported that some (although certainly not all) of New York City’s oldest buildings are out-performing LEED-certified buildings.7 World Trade Center

The magazine compares the new 7 World Trade Center, a LEED-Gold certified project, to the 1930s-era Chrysler Building, which is more energy efficient.  The 7 World Trade Center building has an Energy Star score of 74, while the Chrysler building scores 84 (in part due to extensive efficiency upgrades).

The cited reasons include thicker walls, fewer windows and less ventilation in the older buildings, as well as the fact that LEED-certified buildings look at other environmental features, such as the kinds of materials used and recycled, water systems, and proximity to public transportation.

Does this surprise you?  Are you a critic of the LEED process or an advocate?  Share your thoughts below.

Photo (c) davidlat

Add a comment »4 comments to this article

  1. We (SGM Engineering, Inc.) are the member of the United States Green Building Council (USBGC). Being LEED enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life. So,it is useful in present as well as for future too.

    Reply

  2. LEED certification is admirable… for commercial properties or the rich. it’s just not conceivable for most homeowners. Our small home renovation re-used existing materials and recycled, has illegal greywater recycling, reuses rainwater, heats with firewood only. We put our greenhouse on the south facing side to capture heat from the sun and absorb heat loss from the house… most of these things don’t get points on LEED certification. If you don’t fit in the LEED box, then you’re not invited to the party.

    Reply

    • Lauren:
      Thanks for your comment. It is true that LEED can be cost prohibitive for smaller projects. Right now, there is a push for Green Globes as an alternative, so where LEED will be in a decade is as yet unknown.

      Reply

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