Response from Rick Fedrizzi to the Fourth USA Today Article Attacking Green Buildings
Statement from Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC, Response to the Fourth USA Today Article Attacking Green Buildings
Washington, DC (Dec. 11, 2012) – USA Today has once again written an article attacking green building, deliberately ignoring information we provided and cherry picking data that misleads readers. The story is unbalanced and purposely attempts to impugn LEED despite the fact that it has helped lead quantified best practices in designing, constructing and operating all our buildings, including our nation’s schools.
Our kids deserve schools that enhance their ability to learn by providing more daylight, better acoustics and cleaner, fresher air. But too many of our schools are dark, dingy places filled with airborne toxins and worse. Our schools need improvement and green schools are the answer. Green schools emphasize high indoor air quality, remove toxic materials and products and reduce CO2 emissions. Green schools offer welcoming learning environments that lessen distractions and encourage student participation. On average, green schools use 33% less energy and 32% less water than conventionally constructed schools, significantly reducing utility costs. These are facts.
A LEED certification of new construction means that every aspect of the building design and the construction process was better than standard practice, better than minimum code requirements, and third party verified to be real. Building owners, be they private sector leaders like Starbucks, Target, Wells Fargo and PNC Bank or state, federal and local governments, find value in LEED certification because it validates that they got what they paid for through the design and construction process.
We have repeatedly explained to USA Today that USGBC is a 501c3 non-profit and we have a specific rating system for the on-going performance of buildings — LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance — that is not mentioned here or in any of the other articles. This is where and how true performance happens.
Although LEED is not the only way to improve or green a school, LEED is helping put money back into classrooms around the country and can make a tremendous impact on student health, school operational costs and the environment. Today, nearly 3,000 K-12 school projects participating in LEED are saving energy, water and precious resources, reducing waste and carbon emissions, creating jobs, saving money, driving innovation and providing healthier, more comfortable spaces for children to learn, play and grow.
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit usgbc.org and connect on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.