Last week a judge dismissed Henry Giffords law suit against USGBC. Gifford had pointed out that energy audits of LEED buildings showed no greater energy savings than normal buildings of the same class, and in fact LEED buildings showed WORSE energy savings in many cases. Green Source Magazine speaks about it here.

USGBC countered his claims by publishing study of their own that showed superior energy savings of LEED buildings, but this study was later proved to be false.

The Hearst Building is a LEED project criticized by Gifford. It claims to have motion sensor lights that turn off when rooms are empty but as you can see the building is lit up late at night when people are not in the offices.


The judge dismissed the suit against USGBC not based on Giffords claims about energy efficiency, however. The judge simply said that the energy efficiency claims don’t do enough harm.

Bottom line, LEED is better than nothing but that isn’t saying much. I would do LEED if there was money in the advertising budget because a LEED certified building can fetch higher rents and sale prices.

But if you are a genuine NY green contractor you are going to build to much higher standards than LEED anyway, so why take money away from the construction budget to get it LEED certified? For a plaque? Better to use that money on more solar panels or something.