Post # 1
Does anyone ever get frustrated and feel like the whole movement to build and design green or environmentally friendly buildings, specifically with LEED certification is just a giant scam?
The cost to get a building certified by LEED is insane! We are talking several thousand dollars JUST to apply to work towards the certification! That doesn’t count the other random fees that pop up–$500 to ask a QUESTION!!!!!
I am not even going to go into my frustration with how much money they make off of people trying to get accredited to work on LEED design projects.
PLease, do not misunderstand me! I am very much in favor of sustainable design, ‘green’ construction practices, and making environmentally sound choices to protect ourselves and our future. I just LOATHE how it has turned into a giant money making scheme.
OK, rant over. Thanks for listening.
Post # 3
LEED is a rip off. I am convinced that it started with a whole group of manufacturers that were trying to sell their enviormentally friendly, more expensive, products w/o success, so they petitioned the government to start a “certification process”.
Essentially any building can become LEED certified if you have a place for bike racks, recycling & spend a TON of money on your MEP equipment (low flow toilets, super efficent systems, automated lighting & shading.. etc)
I am all for sustainable design. I am a LEED certified architect and I work with old buildings. Reusing them is one of the most sustainable options. I support trying to make a building low maintenance, and to give pay backs on energy costs & using efficent windows and insulation to lower heating and cooling costs…
However I am not cool with spending a riduculous amount of money to hang a LEED plaque on the wall.
You are not alone, there are a lot of people who feel this way.
EDITED TO ADD: I certainly don’t mean to offend anyone with my comments, these are just my personal opinions on the subject!
Post # 4
Are you working with a LEED certified designer or architect? I’m a LEED Certified AP (I’m an interior designer). The proper consultant and staff working on your project should be able to answer your questions. I haven’t heard anything about $500/question although maybe the program in Canada vs the US is different. Have you been speaking with the Green Building Council? They may be able to point you towards a forum where you can ask questions. Sorry to hear you’re having such a rough go of it. The LEED program is new and definitely has room for growth and improvement like any other program, so maybe letting them GBC and the LEED program itself know of your experience would be worthwhile feedback for them.
Post # 5
I am a LEED AP MEP engineer. The $500 fee is if you want a credit interpretation. (CIR) Basically if you are trying something new and innovative (Which they encourage!) but aren’t sure if they will accept it, you can pay $500 to ask them that.
Just as Ella said, any building can be “LEED certified” if you spend enough money. Honestly, some of the most sustainable and green buildings I have worked on are not LEED certified because it was just too darn expensive to do it!
As for contacting the USGBC and GBCI? Trust me when I say I have spoken with people much higher in the system than the people who answer the phones. THAT is what frustrates me.
As for the program growing and developing? Yes, it is relatively new and still working out some kinks, but with each “kink” that they work out, they find a new way to drive up the cost! Just look at the credentialling program for new LEED APs and what happens to ‘old’ LEED APs should they decide to NOT opt in.
Again, sorry for venting, it is just a very frustrating day at the office.
Post # 6
Do you get any benefits other than the plaque?
I like the environment but really don’t know/pay attention to LEED certification so not sure what kind of impact it’s having.
Post # 7
In theory because your building is LEED certified you get all of the benefits of being in a a sustainable, energy efficient building–reduced user costs (energy/water), more comfortable work environment, etc etc etc…plus you can market your building as being green.That is a big thing for a lot of businesses now as it allows landlords to drive price up. Plus there is always the PR payback of good publicity and being ‘kind to the environment’.
Post # 8
I’m an interior design student who runs the LEED certification process for an office I work in. It’s a total scam. I wanted to get certified at first but I think it’s a total joke- it needs better standards and doing the right thing should cost that much money.
Secondly- some clients- such as my employer- just used it for the TIFF credits they got with the city- the spearhead of the operation doesn’t even care about being green!
Then why am I going out of my way for this????? I feel your pain!
Post # 9
penguin gal, I couldnt have said it better myself.
I am choosing not to continue on with the next set of test or the credentialing.
I am a registered architect, a NCARB certificate holder and an AIA member. I already have a ton fees related to that, as well as 18 learning units to do each year. I don’t want to take another test, and pay another fee, and have to do credentialing maintenance every year.
I’ll just be a LEED legacy, or whatever they have decided to call it. The only thing that does is take away one point from the process.
I’m glad that I’m not the only one that’s a bit jaded with the process.
I do believe that there are ways to be totally sustainable, and still not get LEED! And by the way low flow and no flow toilets are awful! I’m not saving any water if I have to flush 4 times to get stuff to go down! Ha.
Post # 10
troubled, there are a few places where you can get some VERY minimal tax credits… nothing substantial. That would definately convince more developers to splurge on the cost, if some of it was getting paid for.
A lot of developers use it as a marketing tool. For hotels, there are companies that will only stay at LEED certified buildings, so if there arent’ any in your area, it pays to be the first. It will get you business. If you are a retail store owner, you can draw business by saying that you are LEED certified. But other than that, I don’t see the appeal.
I can use low VOC paint & adhesives, I can put controls on my lighting, I can do the things that make a building more healthy w/o all the costs associated with getting certified.