Manufacturer of Boiler & Cooling Water Treatment Chemicals

Government watchdog doesn’t bark at using LEED

Published on 12 Oct 2015Written by Bryan Howard Posted in Advocacy and policy

With the release of the Clean Power Plan and consideration of comprehensive energy legislation, the last few months have been pretty active with regard to energy efficiency and buildings. One item that hasn’t been getting as much attention as it deserves is the recent report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), which found that third-party rating systems like LEED assist federal agencies in implementing key efficiency goals.

An independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress and investigates how the federal government spends tax dollars, GAO reviewed the use of third-party certification programs by five federal agencies for this study, including the Department of Defense (DOD) and the General Services Administration (GSA). GAO concluded that third-party certification (of which LEED is the most common) helps to ensure compliance with various federal building obligations by holding contractors and agency project teams accountable for incorporating these requirements. These findings support the analysis by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), released earlier this year, that newly constructed or renovated federal buildings, many of them LEED-certified, were a contributing factor in federal energy use reaching a 40-year low.

While this is good news on its own, it is also notable that LEED certification is delivering this level of accountability to federal agencies in a cost-effective manner. The GSA informed GAO that the price of certifying a new construction or major renovation accounts for only 0.012 percent of a project’s total budget.

With more than 1,500 federal projects certified, the LEED rating system has a great track record in improving the efficiency and sustainability of buildings across federal agencies. USGBC looks forward to continuing its work with the federal government to enhance its leadership with LEED.

Bryan Howard

Legislative Director

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LEED Certification

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non profit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green building practices and education, and its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.

Chemline, Inc. is a member of The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and has the potential to provide LEED points.