As the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) continues its review process of identifying a green-building certification system for use across all federal government buildings, a group of more than 1,200 organizations and businesses has signed a letter to the GSA asking the organization to continue using the LEED green-building rating system.
The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 requires the GSA to conduct a review of current green-building certification systems every five years. The current review continues to draw feedback from the design and construction industry as to whether the GSA should continue using LEED as its dominant green-building system or whether it should choose another system, such as Green Globes. Last week, 27 organizations—including the Adhesive and Sealant Council, the American Chemistry Council, and the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing—launched the American High-Performance Buildings Coalition, with the mission of promoting green-building rating systems that are developed with consensus-based processes in conformance with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or ISO. On July 26, representatives from a selection of the organizations in the coalition testified at a GSA listening session on Capitol Hill and spoke out against the use of LEED as the dominant system.
In contrast, the most recent letter to the GSA drew some 1,200 signatories: real estate companies such as Skanksa, Tishman Speyer, CBRE Commercial Real Estate Services; manufacturers such as Kohler; organizations such as the American Architectural Foundation, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation; and cities, including Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Atlanta. The lettter highlights the achievements of the GSA in reducing costs, improving efficiency, and eliminating waste in the federal building portfolio. Not directly noted is the fact that since the previous EISA review, the GSA has been using LEED as its rating system of choice. The GSA letter does say, however, that “If GSA, as the ‘landlord of the federal government,’ were to require or use something else, it would add cost to the building and leasing process across the building industry.”
The full letter and list of signatories is online at bit.ly/GSAletter.