1352 Why LEED: The World's Most Successful Green Building Rating System, Strategy, and Human Behavior

Wednesday, 25 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Elizabeth Halford, Anancia Consulting LLC, Alexandria, VA

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has been a very successful rating system for green building design. Yet very little research exists on the efficacy of LEED when energy efficiency is used as a proxy for “green” design or “sustainability.” Additionally, the research available concludes that occupant behavior and facility management have more of an impact on a building’s performance than the design, causing some to argue that LEED rating is false advertising. Still, LEED Certified buildings number in the tens of thousands and are growing in the US and abroad, including in countries with established, and even more stringent, rating systems. This paper investigates the factors that account for LEED’s premier status as a third party green building rating system and finds that two critical elements, the “LEED Accredited Professional” and the ability of the USGBC to respond to members’ demands, are responsible for the system’s success.
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