Is LEED Certification Fraudulent?

There is no doubt that gaining LEED certification can play a major impact on the value of a property and there is one guy who doesn’t think this is fair. In fact he is so adamant that LEED certification is fraudulent that he is suing the USGBC.

Fast Company broke this story:

A recent class action lawsuit filed by Henry Gifford, owner of Gifford Fuel Saving, accuses the USGBC of monopolizing “the market through fraudulent and intentionally misleading representations in the marketing and promotion of their LEED product line.” Do Gifford’s claims have any merit?
“What Henry Gifford is alleging is that the USGBC has defrauded the public,” says Shari Shapiro, a LEED-accredited attorney with Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel in Philadelphia. That is, “building owners, building professionals that have gotten LEED accreditation, taxpayers, consumers, and a variety of other people. He is saying that USGBC representations about the energy performance of buildings have harmed all of these classes of people in various ways.”
The representations in question include claims that LEED-certified properties use 25% less energy, offer CO2 reductions, and feature improved air quality and water efficiency compared to non LEED-certified buildings. Gifford points out that verification of energy usage is not required for LEED-certified buildings, and that the USGBC doesn’t require facility plans to be submitted or reviewed, “essentially allowing building designers to self-certify.”

What’s your take on LEED?
[via Fast Company]

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Timothy Dahl

Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.