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GSA Keeps LEED as Its Standard of Choice

June 10, 2013 - Green

Today's tip of the day is about the General Service Administration's (GSA's) decision to continue to use LEED as its standard of choice.

Recently, GSA's Green Building Advisory Committee officially recommended that LEED be the rating system of choice for all government buildings. The decision represents a big win for the U.S. Green Building Council — LEED had been the GSA's rating system of choice since 2006, and the Green Building Advisory Committee’s recommendation all but ensures GSA will keep LEED as its preferred green building rating system.

How did we get to this point? Here's a bit of history. In early 2012, as it is required to do every five years by 2007's Energy Independence and Security Act, the "government's landlord" began evaluating alternate rating systems to determine which might be "best." (Using more than one rating system for its buildings was also a distinct possibility.)

In the summer of 2012, as GSA was in the midst of its evaluation, more than 1,250 business and organizations sent a letter to GSA asking them to keep LEED as its standards, citing LEED as the "most widely used high-performance building rating system in the United States," and so GSA switching systems would add cost to the building and leasing industry as a whole.

Then, this spring, GSA issued a request for information asking how rating systems could accelerate its green building plans. USGBC responded with an infographic it calls LEED in Motion illustrating how LEED has and will continue to drive market transformation. USGBC pointed out that, in part because of its use of LEED, GSA has reduced energy use at its buildings nearly 20 percent since 2003.


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