LEED Must Lead on Climate

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Building Green
The world urgently needs the building industry to tackle climate change, and LEED has to be part of that.

Contributed by these guest authors:

Greg KatsKevin HydesAnica AndreneauGunnar HubbardVivian LoftnessRob WatsonMark MacCrackenAnthony BernheimDan BurgoyneDoug Farr, and David Gottfried

LEED, the great global green building design standard, has failed to adequately respond to climate change. The program—including both new construction and existing building rating systems—needs to reshape itself to take on the essential climate leadership role that its very name stands for.

LEED once transformed the market

We were deeply involved in shaping, guiding, and growing LEED as it emerged on the U.S. and world stage as a new way to think about, design, and judge building design and performance. LEED wove together a range of design and operational issues with different but related impacts, including health, climate, water, and equity.

And with traction and documentation came the data that allowed cost–benefit analysis to demonstrate that LEED costs were lower than widely perceived and the benefits greater. This in turn led to the mainstreaming of LEED from tens of LEED buildings to tens of thousands—and pushed thousands of manufacturers and suppliers to embrace more sustainable design.

LEED was created to drive transformative change—and this is measured in its impact.

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