The World's Greenest Buildings: Promise vs. Performance

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One of the complaints about my recent survey of top green buildings (“The G-List,” July 27) was that, like the Vanity Fair survey it echoes, it was based on subjective opinions, not on objective data. Personally, I believe it’s useful to compare apples to apples in order to identify the gaps between the design canon and the green canon. Besides, why do we demand that environmental excellence be based exclusively on verifiable fact when we don’t demand the same of general design excellence? Does anecdotal evidence have value in one arena but not the other?


Nevertheless, for those of you who would prefer a survey backed up by thorough evidence, here’s your chance to participate in one. As research for their forthcoming book, The World's Greenest Buildings: Promise vs. Performance in Sustainable Design (Routledge, 2012), Jerry Yudelson and Ulf Meyer are asking architects, engineers, and other green building professionals to help them find the 60 projects worldwide that represent “the best of the best,” based on documented metrics for energy, water, and resources. “[B]ecause we are serious about actual performance,” they say, “the case studies…will be based on collecting actual energy and water performance data from the highest-rated green buildings around the world.” You can fill out their survey online.


I can’t wait to see the results and compare them to my own list. Let’s see how closely opinions match the data.



Comments (3 Total)

  • Posted by: bruteforcecollaborative | Time: 11:08 PM Sunday, September 05, 2010

    in europe,(DE and AT, anyway...) they've already got a report card for buildings - the energieausweis

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  • Posted by: greenconscience1975 | Time: 10:58 AM Thursday, September 02, 2010

    The EPA is now giving letter grades for vehicles (Prius A-, Electric Vehicles A+, etc.) . Why don't we do this for buildings? An A for energy positive/carbon neutral or better, A- to F for every graduation from there; based on metrics, of course. Aesthetics -- this is a separate unrelated matter.

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  • Posted by: Anonymous | Time: 8:49 AM Thursday, September 02, 2010

    good. this survey hopefully will be based more metrics than popularity.

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About the Blogger

Lance Hosey

thumbnail image Contributing editor and author of ARCHITECT’s monthly Eco column, Lance Hosey, AIA, LEED AP, Hon. FIGP, is president and CEO of GreenBlue, a nonprofit and consultancy dedicated to environmental innovation and the creative redesign of industry. A registered architect, he is a former director at William McDonough + Partners. With Kira Gould, he is the co-author of Women in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design (2007). His forthcoming book, The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design, studies how form and image can enhance conservation, comfort, and community at every scale of design, from products to cities.