LEED Exposed

Uncertain Future

A growing number of states are moving away from USGBC standards for new public buildings.

For many years, LEED has been considered the primary standard for green buildings and was the only standard endorsed by federal, state, and local governments. But now a growing number of states are actually banning the required use of USGBC standards for new public buildings.

One of the key criticisms of LEED has been that it only endorses one sustainable timber certification program. Because this limits the wood products available for use in LEED-certified buildings, Alabama, Georgia, Maine, and Mississippi have effectively banned the use of LEED by banning certification under any green building standard that prefers one wood certification program over the others. Legislation to enact similar bans has been introduced in a dozen other states.

A competing green building standard, the Green Building Initiative, has developed its own green building rating system, Green Globes. In October 2013, the GSA announced that new buildings could either be certified under Green Globes or LEED. The Green Globes standard does not limit builders to specific sustainable timber certification programs.

“Challenges and alternatives to LEED are increasingly appearing, exposing some of the rating system’s limitations.”
Jeffrey Spivak, "LEED Backlash"