LEED rating questioned for efficiency

January 03, 2011 07:54AM

As new gauges measuring energy consumption enter the market, the 10-year-old LEED ranking system — which reflects a building’s environmental performance — is coming under fire, according to Crain’s. This year, in a first for New York, owners of 25,000 commercial properties must report their buildings’ energy use to the city, with the data to be compiled into publicly posted report cards. But concerns from architects and landlords that LEED doesn’t measure energy use and costs have spurred new rating systems that could challenge the status quo. Though developers such as the Durst Organization and Silverstein Properties have built to meet LEED standards, others are questioning whether it accurately measures a building’s sustainability. In October, a mechanical systems designer filed a lawsuit challenging the system. “LEED has made people realize the importance of looking at how buildings are affecting the environment,” said Constantine Kontokosta, director of the Center for the Sustainable Built Environment at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. But critics argue that the rating is meaningless without an energy measurement component, figures that are vital to owners and tenants who want to cut costs and consumption. [Crain’s]