LEED Clears First Hurdle Towards Federal Government Wide Use

“Those doing business with the federal government, civilian and military, should be cognizant that the GSA is on track to continue pursuing LEED certification ..”  

Last week, the Green Building Advisory Committee recommended to the U.S. General Services Administration that “GSA strongly encourage the use of the LEED standard across the government.”

For the good of the environmental industrial complex

This is huge, not only because the federal government operates a portfolio of almost one million facilities (429,000 buildings and 482,000 other structures), making it the largest owner of improved property in North America, but it is also the owner or more LEED® certified buildings than anyone else. The federal government is also the largest tenant in LEED certified buildings on the planet.

Possibly most significant, the federal government has become an important agent of disruptive innovation improving the knowledge base on high performance buildings and leading the way in installation of cutting edge energy efficiency and sustainability technologies, that then find their way to the private sector. The impact of GSA continuing to pursue LEED cannot be overstated; not just for the benefit of the U.S. Green Building Council, that has lost some of its green luster, but also for the good of the environmental industrial complex that supports LEED building.

The continued use of LEED

According to an article released last week by Federal News Radio, GSA received more than 400 comments from 162 stakeholders from all facets of the building and academic industries as well as local federal and local government agencies. The comments, which GSA will post later this spring, generally supported the four key concepts, especially around adopting an existing third party certification system instead of building a new one. But the one area where there wasn’t agreement on was whether the government should adopt one standard or multiple standards, or give agencies the flexibility to use the green building system standard that meets their individual needs.

The Green Building Advisory Committee took those comments into account when “they made a recommendation to GSA that from the Committee’s point of view, the use of LEED was most conducive to meet the requirements of the Energy Independence and Security Act”, according to Kevin Kampschroer, director, Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, GSA.

While the Committee’s written recommendation has not yet been made public, it can be deemed reliable that the committee decided by a vote of 10-6 with one abstention to have GSA strongly encourage the use of the LEED standard across the government.

Doing business with the federal government

Those doing business with the federal government, civilian and military, should be cognizant that the GSA is on track to continue pursuing LEED certification for new construction and major renovations. LEED has proven itself the ideal rating system to validate resource use and the associated cost savings. Moreover, LEED has become a key element of disruptive innovation improving the federal government’s knowledge base on high performance buildings and leading the way in private sector installation of cutting edge energy efficiency and sustainability technologies

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