Henry Gifford Sues USGBC Over Fraud, False Advertising, Racketeering!

My good friend Stephen Del Percio over at the Green Real Estate Law Journal just broke the fact that perennial LEED critic Henry Gifford has filed a class action suit on behalf of "consumers, taxpayers, and building design and construction professionals" against the USGBC for:

  1. monopolization through fraud,
  2. unfair competition,
  3. deceptive trade practices,
  4. false advertising,
  5. wire fraud, and
  6. unjust enrichment.

Wow...

A full copy of the filing is available on Stephen's website (direct link here), and from what I can tell the vast majority of the allegations are based on claims the USGBC has made about energy efficiency tied to the (much discussed) NBI study about performance of early LEED buildings, and their failure to overturn the (also much discussed) certification of the Northland Pines High School when it was appealed. Essentially he appears to be claiming that the USGBC is fraudulently representing both that LEED buildings save energy and that their review process adequately provides the 'third-party verification' that they claim. As a result of these deceptions, we the consumers, the taxpayers, and designers have all been duped into using (and training for) LEED. This has allowed the development of a sort of rating system monopoly that damages other systems like EnergyStar, Passivhaus, etc.

Lawyers v. Marketing

Surprisingly relevant given past post images...

For the record, I'm not an attorney, so the above and following opinions about this case are worth likely next to nothing. My first take is that, as before, Henry Gifford has taken a few valid complaints with the LEED system, sprinkled in some questionable logic, and overblown these complaints to epic proportions. I'll suggest checking in with the Green Real Estate Law Journal and the Green Building Law Update for more on this in the future, as it's a topic I'm sure they'll jump on in the coming weeks. I'm extremely interested to hear your take on this, and would strongly encourage everyone to at least skim the claim itself before responding.

Further Reading

I'll be adding additional sources of information as they're discovered.

*FULL DISCLOSURE: Environmental Building News is owned by Building Green, Inc., which is a sponsor to this site.

99 comments:

Sally said...

:(

Bill Swanson said...

One thing that will come from this is disclosure. I'm sure his lawyers will ask for all sorts of information that USGBC has been holding close to the chest. If this does go to trial it will be interesting for the curious folks. I hope it's recorded.

They make several points. And repeat those points a lot. But that may just be typical lawyer stuff.

Monopoly. Is USGBC a monopoly? Their evidence of this is weak in the paper. But all I ever see in trade magazines is USGBC. They have a marketing monopoly. But they also act like a monopoly in my opinion. You have to buy their reference guides only from them. Any attempt to resell their books is prohibited.

Fraud based on energy savings claims. This is based on that study Gifford got attention from showing how they fudged the numbers to show a 25-30% energy savings. Based on the New York law cited it sounds like any misrepresentation or deceptive act by a business is considered fraud. I think USGBC will have to prove their buildings save energy to dodge this one. Funny analogy used to describe the voluntary disclosure of energy use by building owners. "...it is about as useful as studying blood alcohol levels of drivers who volunteer to be tested."

Rob Watson's ties with the NRDC. Never heard of this before but it does seem like an argument can be made that his position in the NRDC was used to benefit the USGBC which is was also a member of. He may need to show some evidence that he was not involved in any endorsement of USGBC by the NRDC.

The last main item seems to be about third party verification. USGBC states several places that LEED buildings have a 3rd party verification of building characteristics which include energy use. This is getting thrown in with the fraud charge. Gifford says there is no 3rd party verification.

Any bets as to how much press this will get?

Tristan Roberts said...

Joel, I spent quite a bit of time with this and also talked with Henry Gifford and interested parties (including USGBC, though they didn't have much to say yet). I wrote about it all in an article in Environmental Building News.

A couple things are particularly noteworthy to me. One, a lot of people, Henry Gifford included, seem to miss a lot of what LEED is about. LEED for Existing Buildings was launched in 2004, for example! Two, Gifford really thinks he's doing the green movement a favor. I don't think a lot of the movement really feels that way, though.

Joel McKellar said...

Tristan,

I think your summary in this comment pretty much wraps up my thoughts... If I hear LEED doesn't track actual performance one more time I think I'll scream... LEED isn't a single system! I'll be sure to read your post in a bit, and I'll update my post to link to it... a service I'm happy to extend to others with thoughtful commentary.

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

"Henry Gifford has taken a few valid complaints with the LEED system, sprinkled in some questionable logic, and overblown these complaints to epic proportions." Exactly right, Joel. Like his professional education his case seems a little light. His complaint is riddled with mistakes and inaccuracies about the LEED system. Either the judge will through the frivolous lawsuit out of court or the USGBC will finally be forced to address HG's irrationality.

Eric said...

Henry should have read this:
"First of all, what is LEED? LEED is not a regulation or a law; it's not a stone tablet sent down from the heavens. It was intended to provide guidance for and verification of a project's green attributes. It set up a gradated series of requirements, both technical and procedural, intended to guide people toward making better buildings. Not perfect buildings, greener buildings.
When we were building the system we were very cognizant that our knowledge and the tools available would be improving over time and that our expectations should match. We considered an "It's LEED or it's not" type of approach, but realized it is simpleminded to expect binary answers to multidimensional questions, particularly when the current knowledge base was so limited.
Or, as Aristotle put it, "It is the mark of an instructed mind to rest assured with that degree of precision that the nature of the subject admits, and not to seek exactness when only an approximation of the truth is possible." Rob Watson http://in.reuters.com/article/idIN361459205420100625

Eric said...

Henry (& others) should have read the Development of a California Commercial Building Energy Benchmarking Database & Energy Benchmarking In Commercial Office Buildings DOE papers. They said what NBI said before they said it. :)
Presented at the ACEEE 2002 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, August 18-23, 2002, Asilomar
Conference Center, Pacific Grove, California, and published in the proceedings.
"Points-Based Rating Systems, including (LEED), do not allow comparisons against other buildings, rather, they provide standards and guidelines to measure how efficient and environmentally friendly a facility is and compared it to best-practice standards."
http://poet.lbl.gov/cal-arch/paper245.pdf
"Statistical distributions of office building EUIs developed from CBECS data can be used for comparing the performance of an individual building to others within its respective census division. Median EUIs are more reliable comparators when it is desired to compare the energy use of a sample of local buildings to CBECS census division statistics. Averages can be strongly influenced by a small number of buildings with excessive individual EUIs. This occurs in the CBECS database and will occur in local sampling of office buildings."
http://www.energy.ca.gov/greenbuilding/documents/background/13-ORNL_COM_BLDG_BENCHMARKING.PDF

Eric said...

http://www.edcmag.com/Articles/Feature_Article/44b973b231d98010VgnVCM100000f932a8c0____
On the subject of rigor, let's put to rest the canard that LEED buildings are not energy-efficient. They are. We need to abandon the 1980s view that operational energy is the only relevant parameter; it’s about 60 percent of the equation. In terms of energy use involving buildings, their location matters (transportation energy), their water efficiency matters (energy to pump, purify and treat afterward), their landscaping matters (heat islands), and the materials used to build them matter (embodied energy). Any LEED-certified building will have achieved a significant combination of these areas that will result in much less energy consumption compared with standard practice.

Eric said...

Did HG ever read the Appendix G standard?

"11. ENERGY COST BUDGET METHOD

Informative Note: The energy cost budget and the design energy cost calculations are applicable only for determining compliance with this standard. They are not predictions of actual energy consumption or costs of the proposed design after construction. Actual experience will differ from these calculations due to variations such as occupancy, building operation and maintenance, weather, energy use not covered by this standard, changes in energy rates between design of the building and occupancy, and precision of the calculation tool."

Anonymous said...

“The NBI Study confirms that newly constructed LEED certified buildings use significantly less energy than their conventional counterparts, and that they perform better overall,” said Brendan Owens, Vice President, LEED Technical Development, U.S. Green Building Council.

Is this a true statement or is this fraud?

Tuckamore Design said...

I've read Tristan's BG article (great article, btw) and the comments over there, as well as these comments. I think that any system that can't stand up to criticism really needs to be re-evaluated, however this goes beyond mere criticism. Despite what Gifford claims is his motivation (as Tristan writes in his article - along the lines of saving the green building movement from embarrassment down the road), I really fail to see how this lawsuit will help the green building movement. If anything, it will only serve to amplify the negativity out there and make our jobs more difficult.

Anyone who has EVER worked on a LEED building knows that energy modeling is an estimate, a best guess even, and one that will be proven right or wrong during the operation of the building. There are many factors that contribute to a building's energy consumption, not the least of which is human behaviour.

I have some issues with USGBC and with LEED, however I'm one of those silly people that believes in working within a system to effect change, not hacking at it from the outside.

Leonard said...

I agree with the plaintiff.. LEED is becoming the Autodesk of the built world ( we're all being forced by "the market" to use Revit, for example).
The alternative should be a Federal agency with State subsidiaries, able to comprehensively legislate: codes, tax incentives, economic realities, national energy and industrial plans. This would bring real synergy to the processes involved.

Eric said...

Dear Anonymous,
You forgot a part of the press release.
"In the NBI study, the results indicate that new buildings certified under the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED certification system are, on average, performing 25-30% better than non-LEED certified buildings in terms of energy use. The study also demonstrates that there is a correlation between increasing levels of LEED certification and increased energy savings. Gold and Platinum LEED certified buildings have average energy savings approaching 50%."

Eric said...

HG,
Are you going to sue the US government for fraud because they use a building sample size of 5,215 buildings to represent 4,858,749 buildings to determine energy use? Or because they said "The decreases in intensity observed in 1991 and since 2001 are primarily the result of weak economic conditions in the economy as a whole. In these periods, vacancy rates of commercial office and retail space increase and the utilization of occupied space falls."

Bill Swanson said...

Eric, wow you really post a lot. But throwing around so many quotes I couldn't see the point you were making.

Why insult Gifford's professional education? I could argue that an "Executive Cost Manager" such as yourself does not hold the proper professional credentials. What matters is his knowledge and experience, not what letters are after his name. The man appears to be good at what he does.

The quote from Rob Watson that you keep posting everywhere is irrelevant. We all know that LEED is based on estimates. That 90.1 Appendix G says that this is an estimate.

The lawsuit is not about what we say LEED is or is not. The lawsuit is about USGBC's public comments stating that newly constructed LEED buildings are more energy efficient than non-LEED buildings. Seems like USGBC doesn't understand Rob Watson's explanation of LEED. If the LEED system is based on estimates (as we all know) then the USGBC should not have advertised stating LEED buildings save 25-30% more energy unless they could back up that statement. The NBI study is questionable.

And Kudos to Tristan for actually interviewing people. I like the extra depth. I'm always annoyed with people saying they can't comment due to pending litigation. I know it's the smart thing to do, but it's so boring for those on the sideline wanting to know more.

Eric said...

1st part Thanks Bill, if my posts annoy you I would suggest you just ignore them.
To respond to your post: I was attempting to make several points. Please try and follow along:
First post – 1st point: While reading HG’s complaint I noticed several incorrect statements about LEED. For example the complaint states under the “current LEED rating system it’s possible to earn a point for having a floor grate to trap debris” as there are several 2009 rating systems I’m not sure which system he’s referring to but I believe the NC Indoor Chemical and Pollutant Source Control credit requires a few more actions.
First post – 2nd point: HG, not being a LEED AP or any other type of Built Environment professional is relevant. BTW I’m no parking lot lighting designer but I do have a Masters degree in Real Estate Construction and Development and have actually been involved in building LEED and non LEED buildings. What exactly is HG’s knowledge and experience? Tearing down LEED? Acting like a lobster in a boiling pot? Professional boiler expert? I did see “Good Will Hunting” so I believe you could get a $150,000 education for $1.50 in late fees at the public library so maybe his knowledge and experience is equivalent to all of the people who have volunteered their time to create the LEED rating system.
FYI: Appearances can be deceiving.
If HG can’t get any work because he’s not a LEED AP why wouldn’t he just become one?
Second post – general point – Time and again the people who have been involved with the LEED rating system acknowledge that it’s not perfect and that they are working to improve it. If they readily acknowledge the flaws why would they suddenly be conspiring to pull the wool over the eyes of the entire built environment professional community? Could they do it even if they tried? Seems like architects and engineers on the various projects would know if they were designing buildings that used lots of energy.

Eric said...

2nd part
Third post – general point – Energy benchmarking experts publicly stated a few high energy use buildings could radically affect average energy use intensity numbers. NBI defended their methodology by saying that the LEED dataset average was skewed by high energy use buildings and that they should be excluded in the comparison.
Fourth post - general point – When you factor in energy use beyond just site energy use LEED buildings would generally use less total energy than typical practice buildings. 2,000 people driving 250 days per year for fifty years in a single automobile versus 2,000 people walking, riding a bike, taking a bus, streetcar, or metro is a big difference in energy use and carbon emissions.
Fifth post – general point – It would seem that ASHRAE is clearly stating that in order to achieve the modeled energy performance it will depend on how you operate the building. Kind of like how many MPG your car gets depends on how and where you drive it. Hello…If I’m the owner of a building and my energy use isn’t meeting the energy model EUI I’m going to fix the problem or sue my designers.
Sixth post – general point – “Indicate” means “suggest” to me in this instance; it would seem ludicrous to me for someone to claim fraud if someone suggests something may be true based on an initial study and clearly defines the limitations of that study. The NBI study clearly indentifies the limitations of the study and areas for further study in their report. Didn’t another study even confirm most of the NBI findings? http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/obj/irc/doc/pubs/nrcc51142.pdf
Seventh post – general point – One of HG’s criticisms of the NBI study was the sample size in comparison to the number of LEED building. It would seem the same charge could be leveled at the CBECS data. External factors could also affect the energy use in commercial buildings like occupancy.
I could go on and on about the data and how it could be more accurately compared by distributional benchmarking and so on, but my irritation at HG is pretty much over. He’s just a clown and I have better things to do.
Bill, one final thought you should try and use spell check a little more. The end.

Eric said...

2nd part Third post – general point – Energy benchmarking experts publicly stated a few high energy use buildings could radically affect average energy use intensity numbers. NBI defended their methodology by saying that the LEED dataset average was skewed by high energy use buildings and that they should be excluded in the comparison.
Fourth post - general point – When you factor in energy use beyond just site energy use LEED buildings would generally use less total energy than typical practice buildings. 2,000 people driving 250 days per year for fifty years in a single automobile versus 2,000 people walking, riding a bike, taking a bus, streetcar, or metro is a big difference in energy use and carbon emissions.
Fifth post – general point – It would seem that ASHRAE is clearly stating that in order to achieve the modeled energy performance it will depend on how you operate the building. Kind of like how many MPG your car gets depends on how and where you drive it. Hello…If I’m the owner of a building and my energy use isn’t meeting the energy model EUI I’m going to fix the problem or sue my designers.
Sixth post – general point – “Indicate” means “suggest” to me in this instance; it would seem ludicrous to me for someone to claim fraud if someone suggests something may be true based on an initial study and clearly defines the limitations of that study. The NBI study clearly indentifies the limitations of the study and areas for further study in their report. Didn’t another study even confirm most of the NBI findings? http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/obj/irc/doc/pubs/nrcc51142.pdf
Seventh post – general point – One of HG’s criticisms of the NBI study was the sample size in comparison to the number of LEED building. It would seem the same charge could be leveled at the CBECS data. External factors could also affect the energy use in commercial buildings like occupancy.
I could go on and on about the data and how it could be more accurately compared by distributional benchmarking and so on, but my irritation at HG is pretty much over.
The end.

Anonymous said...

Please, go on and on.

Eric said...

Dear Anonymous,

Only if you identify yourself.

Bill Swanson said...

Eric, I never said you were annoying. And I'm not trying to compare who's got a longer list of green cred. The point I was making is that anyone's credentials can be attacked. Rather than spending time looking for excuses not to listen to someone, we should judge the merits of what they're saying.

Eric said...

Bill,
I have judged HG's various criticisms of LEED and found them lacking, not because of his professional education or lack therof, but because of fundamental flaws in his positions. My advice would be to not file a lawsuit riddled with mistakes and inaccuracies about the system you state is fraudulent, it makes your argument weak. I do find several items in his "A Better Way to Rate Green Buildings" paper very interesting. One is all of the lights on in an office building at three in the morning and the other is the PV panels partially blocked from the sun. What do these issues have in common? They were mistakes or flaws made by people and not by a rating system. People and choices made, are in the end, at the root of most problems with buildings not performing as intended. I have done statistical analysis on the office buildings in the CBECS and NBI data. The result, median to median (2000-2003 CBECS), is a 33% lower figure for the LEED buildings. If you compare weighted average to weighted average data and based on size the numbers are even better for the LEED buildings. My feeling is that if someone compared the office buildings, based on as many parameters as possible, the LEED buildings would indeed be even much better. If you really want to know you can figure it out yourself as the microdata for CBECS and most of the LEED buildings are available online, but that would take real work and most people aren't willing to really figure out the truth for themselves. It's easy for LEEDhaters to just listen to the "Pied Piper" and not work to make the built environment better. BREEAM and Passivhaus have plenty of faults also they just don't get pointed out.

Joyce Kelly said...

Here's some background on Henry Gifford that provides useful perspective. Seems his original beef was with ASHRAE.
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/03/17/030317ta_talk_sullivan

Anonymous said...

So far, the commentary seems to want to avoid the 500 lb gorilla in the room- that LEEDS certification does not lead to demonstrably lower energy use or lower embodied energy in the end product compared to non-certified structures. Instead, a lot of blather about how LEEDS is an important awareness tool, how it created market demand, etc is touted as real progress. I maintain that success is when there is real demand for a real program that demonstrates real results rather than a marketing gimmick that attracts clients to a "false peak", obscuring the costs, sacrifices, skills, and other demands of real success. I understand that people are genuinely attracted to a future where we live the same way or better by buying into greenwashing with no actual progress. I love the idea too. It's just that I've seen no evidence this is possible, and it largely restrains the market forces from achieving real successes.

Eric said...

Anonymous,
First if you're brave enough to offer your opinion you should be brave enough to use your name. Second it's LEED, not LEEDS. Third "ad hominem" attacks sound good and may even win your arguments on most occasions, but not here. There has been analysis of the data to see where LEED buildings compare to the CBECS data; in my review LEED office buildings were 33% lower median to median. I didn't compare climate zones, occupancy hours, Class A, corporate headquarters, etc. so I imagine the LEED buildings would be even better if someone did. Undoubtedly some of the LEED buildings didn't have the energy performance expected originally, kind of like the first of anything built. The requirements of the system have changed in the last ten years. Anyone who actually works on the projects can see that.
Are you a BREEAM guy? Your talking points sound familiar.

Anonymous said...

I believe the USGBC and LEED system has lost its way. The initial concept of improving the environment and becoming more energy efficient has taken a back seat. Seems like more of a revenue generating effort for it's own sustainability than actually trying to improve environmental impact. Each LEED project review adds new complexities and inexplicable rulings that are contrary to it's stated purpose. Green building requirements should simply become code requirements. From an HVAC aspect, we have been doing most of the items from the LEED system anyway.

Eric said...

I think James got it right and Anonymous didn't...

"LEED isn't an arbitrary list of design requirements developed by well meaning environmentalists. It's a continuously evolving set of design principles developed collaboratively by working architects, engineers, manufacturers, contractors, builders, tenants, designers, facilities managers, building owners, researchers, etc. Using LEED is like having thousands of unpaid mentors and consultants at your beck and call (often literally) helping focus and guide the design, construction and operation of building projects. Seeking LEED certification in a project also adds a level of sustainable design rigor that often eludes projects that attempt to implement LEED without formally seeking LEED status.

The built landscape is littered with starchitect buildings that are monuments to excess and ego, too many of them expensive to operate and crappy if not downright unhealthy to inhabit. More and more of the truly best buildings these days are LEED buildings designed and constructed by integrated design teams who leave their egos at the door and relish teamwork and collaboration, the architect only perhaps first among equals in the team. This democratization of design is at the heart of LEED, and explains I think why so many architects and other specialists find LEED constraining or threatening."

James Kalin
Owner, Virtually Green
San Francisco Bay Area

Anonymous said...

Eric, if you're brave enough to offer your opinion why not also disclose any financial ties you may have with USGBC.

More quotes???

So much talk about what LEED is and isn't. Rather than talking about what's in the lawsuit. USGBC used the numbers, as a whole, from the NBI study for its claims. The NBI numbers not a random sample of LEED buildings. There is a flaw in the sample selection and in the comparison. The post is about items relative to the lawsuit. Not the merits of LEED.

Eric said...

Dear Anonymous,

Don't hide behind the web curtain.

I can disclose that I have no "financial ties" with the USGBC.

I just don't like it when people are uninformed.

If you actually read the NBI study they point out what they did and didn't do and they state where further study should be done. To make it easier for you look on page 5 Conclusions and Recommendations and Appendix A: Study Background where it's all laid out in detail for you.

Anonymous said...

International Education Review Team
USGBC Speaker Registry

Eric said...

Dear Anonymous,

"So much talk about what LEED is and isn't. Rather than talking about what's in the lawsuit." -Did you lose your train of thought?

"USGBC used the numbers, as a whole, from the NBI study for its claims. The NBI numbers not a random sample of LEED buildings."
I think you mean the NBI numbers are not a random sample of LEED buildings. See Appendix A of the study, it isn’t secret.

"There is a flaw in the sample selection and in the comparison."
See page 5 and Appendix A of the study.

"The post is about items relative to the lawsuit. Not the merits of LEED."
Aren't the merits of LEED relative to the lawsuit? HG kind of says they are in his class action. Relative - a thing having a connection with or necessary dependence on another thing.

Eric said...

I volunteer my time to review the courses, it's part of my desire to make the world a better place and I don't take any money for speaking, if someone was to want to listen to me. Occasionally, I guess they do. I believe as a professional and someone who has been blessed in so many ways I need to give something back.

I'm proud you've learned to Google like a big boy.

Are you a communist or a socialist? Or should people not earn money for working hard and using their skills and education? Sounds like petty jealousy to me?

Anonymous said...

So defensive. Think of that next time you attack someone.

Eric said...

Dear anonymous,

Man up, don't hide in anonymity.

"So defensive."

Just the truth, I don't have anything to hide.

"Think of that next time you attack someone."

If you think I'm attacking, you are sorely mistaken. I call it saying what I believe or stating the facts of the matter. You're the one making insinuations and personal attacks. At the end of the day I'm the one with a Masters degree, not a self proclaimed title or made up occupation.

Anonymous said...

I mean no disrespect to the individuals on this board but I think the nature of this argument has brought an issue regarding LEED and corporate energy management to light. The participants in these debates are "cost managers", "real estate executives", and finally LEED APs. It seems that the engineering community is conveniently absent. Now granted it may seem that I'm going ad hominem all over the combatants but the root of cost savings lies in coefficient of friction on the inside diameter of a return air line or high efficiency rectifiers for direct grid connected renewables. You catch my drift. Granted ASHRAE guides immediately lend credence to any argument, however, it seems that we've lost focus on the core physical principals that create the 1 or 2 degree heat recovery and instead focused on a seemingly holistic organization that can deem anyone an energy saver. This is at the core of what is absent from LEED. The conversation is not whole. All parties are not yet at the table. But, it is a good start and I admire those who seek to push the boundaries for the next generation rather than sit back and idly wait.

Eric said...

Dear Anonymous,
The engineers are all busy designing oversized mechanical systems to heat and cool the latest glass box or they are on vacation courtesy of the equipment suppliers.
Usually when someone starts off saying “they mean no disrespect” they really do mean to disrespect whoever they’re addressing.
You display a fundamental ignorance of the LEED process and what being a LEED AP is.
Reducing energy demand will save far more energy than figuring out the “coefficient of friction on the inside diameter of a return air line”.
“LEED doesn’t keep you from making your building sustainable (or low energy use). Results may vary – it’s up to you, your team and your skill. Saying LEED is flawed is weak whining – do you blame the cookbook when your soup sucks?” Iain

Anonymous said...

From the engineering community...

When the USGBC decided to penalize buildings because an Owner has a high efficiency central plant or when they refuse to accept a technology that can cut building energy consumption by as much as 25-30% because they don't understand it and can't police it, engineers start to lose faith.

Explain to me why an Owner building a facility tying into a central plant must make their building more efficient than a facility being built with its own dedicated plant? There is a prerequisite that requires the baseline and proposed building be modeled with the same plant characteristics and meet a minimum of 10% improvement. This can be difficult to achieve in many cases when you remove the benefit of a high efficiency central plant.

Eric said...

Anon,

I can't discuss generalities, but I have a few suggestions:
1. File a CIR
2. Appeal a credit ruling
3. Become a member of the LEED EA TAG
4. Become a member of the ASHRAE ASHRAE Standing Standard Project Committee 90.1
5. Become a member of the e QUEST users mailing list
6. See the recent guidance on Treatment of District or Campus Thermal Energy in LEED V2 and LEED 2009 – Design & Construction
7. Post your detailed explanation on the web for all to see

Anonymous said...

CIR was done and denied. Central plant requirement is being retroactively applied to projects registered before its enactment. Projects that can not meet this new requirement are being denied LEED certification as a result. All responses to our inquiries are "God Like" as "You must obey me" with no rationality or debate.


Each appeal, CIR costs $$$. Each denial = more $$$ for the USGBC. USGBC = Self Sustanability at unprecedented costs. Every architect, engineer, owner, contractor I meet has lost faith in the system. I can only hope the sentiment grows and the requirements become code or other less gLEEDy options become available.

Take a look at the CIR from NC 2.2 which discusses the use of ASHRAE IAQ Method for ventilation design. The response is unbelievable! Basically says they are too lazy to learn the method and can't understand / police it. NC 3.0 was revised to specifically require the ASHRAE Ventilation Method. Apparently, the USGBC must know better than the engineering professionals in the design industry and ASHRAE itself.

Amazing.

Eric said...

Anon,

It would seem you should or should have appealed the CIR ruling if you believe the answer provided was incorrect. If it was me I would go to the LEED EA TAG members I am sure if your issue is valid they will respond accordingly http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=1795#ea.
The GBCI / USGBC people are always very professional with me, perhaps you should try a different approach?
$550 seems a small price to certify a project, $220 for a CIR is peanuts. I doubt the GBCI is earning a lot of revenue that way.
If you provide the CIR date it would be easier to see what the issue is.
Here's what the ASHRAE former 62 chair said: "As with prior versions of LEED-NC, this prerequisite requires that outdoor air rates be calculated using the VRP; use of the IAQ Procedure (IAQP) is not allowed. The VRP is a prescriptive approach where rates are determined using per-person and per-unit-area rates prescribed in a table based on occupancy category. The IAQP is a performance approach that requires data that are seldom fully available to designers, such as concentration limits of pollutants of concern and their source strengths from materials and activities in the space. Disallowing the use of the IAQP was due to concerns about the availability of these data and with the level of expertise and judgment required by the designer and by the enforcement authority.

Anonymous said...

Like I said, the USGBC has taken it upon themselves to parse the ASHRAE 62.1 standard and only use what they want. Does the USGBC know more than ASHRAE on the topic? Do you think an engineer would willy nilly design something that they couldn't verify or weren't comfortable putting there seal on? If it doesn't work, then ASHRAE shouldn't allow it.

The bottom line is that there are technologies and options that significantly reduce energy consumption, have less impact on the environment and testing shows improve indoor air quality above what the standard ventilation rate method ahieves. Even though they are allowed by ASHRAE 62.1, the USGBC says no. Seems contrary to their whole premise.

Eric said...

Dear Anon (Larry or Mark),
Steven would seem to represent ASHRAE to the USGBC. http://www.taylor-engineering.com/downloads/articles/ASHRAE%20Journal%20-%20LEED%20and%20Standard%2062.1-Taylor.pdf

Engineers make mistakes? Like with everyone, I guess it’s possible or inevitable…

ASHRAE Indoor Air Quality Guide Inadequate Ventilation Rates - While building codes and standards have addressed outdoor air ventilation for decades, many buildings and spaces are poorly ventilated, which increases the likelihood of IAQ problems. There are a variety of reasons for inadequate ventilation rates, including lack of compliance with applicable codes and standards, installation or maintenance problems that lead to the design ventilation rate not being achieved in practice, or space use changes without an assessment of the need for updated ventilation rates.

The Europeans use significantly higher rates for ventilation (150%) than ASHRAE / LEED are you going to criticize all that wasted energy?

FYI
The ASHRAE HQ site energy intensity is 49 and source is 162. The national average site energy use index (EUI) is 68 and average source EUI is 228. Are you going to criticize the Energy Star program as a sham? 154 kWhm2a for whole building site energy use for Atlanta? Seems okay to me.

The NREL Zero Energy Building is modeled to use 110 kWhm2a or 35 kBtuft2a. Is the DOE next on your list?

Anonymous said...

People are liable to make mistakes using either method. That argument makes no sense. That is why the system requires registered professional engineers to engineer these systems. First, to have people competent designing system to limit the mistakes. Second, to hold someone accountable if they make them. For the USGBC to limit options because someone may make a mistake doesn't hold water.

Also, just because someone was with an organization doesn't necessarily mean that they represent that organization. I am not saying that he doesn't or questioning his integrity or motives, but that could be like someone quoting Zell Miller on Democratic issues!

There are several issues that I have with LEED. Two of them I spelled out in detail. The third is the costs. Whether anyone at the USGBC wants to admit it or not, LEED buildings cost a lot more money. For example we have had a school prototype built several times. The last three have been attempting LEED certification. Contractors and CMs have been itemizing the added costs for these recent LEED projects. The cost impact to these projects including consultant fees has ranged from $600K to $1M. USGBC green people can scream that LEED buildings don't cost more from the hill tops, but the reality is that they do. It is difficult to justify this added cost when school districts are forced to lay off teachers at an alarming rate due to budget cuts. These added costs represent almost 45 teacher's salaries on these three projects alone.

Again, my issues aren't with doing the right thing and creating energy efficient buildings. In fact, I am being limited by the LEED system on how efficient I can make buildings! I think the LEED system is an added element that is not necessary. Green requirements should be code without this massive third party element on top.

Also, why is it so important to you in this debate to know who you are debating with? Shouldn't the topics be the issue and stand on their own? What does it matter who says them?

Eric said...

Dear Larry,

I think you don't understand my previous points. So here we go again. For various reasons "Registered Professional Engineers" have been designing buildings for decades with the requisite skill and mandated standards but they still have poor IAQ as postulated in the ASHARE Indoor Air Quality Guide (free to download). The reason LEED prescribes a certain methodology was explained in 2005 by a Fellow of ASHRAE who has a degree in Physics and Mechanical Engineering and who has been on the 90.1 and 62.1 committees. His view carries weight with me, your anonymous, half described point doesn't.

In my view you haven't made any arguments, just cryptic comments that have no substance.

LEED buildings, may or may not, cost more than an "average" building of the type. They don't have to cost more and shouldn't. There have been extensive studies done on the cost topic and are readily available for all to view.

I always like to correctly address who I'm debating. I don't care who you are, but it says something about your character that you make anonymous posts.

Anonymous said...

Key quote from your earlier post: "Disallowing the use of the IAQP was due to concerns about the availability of these data and with the level of expertise and judgment required by the designer and by the enforcement authority."

The designers (engineers) must endure many years of school, are required to work in the field of expertise for a minimum of 4 years, show competency by satisfactorily passing state exams and maintain a minimum amount of continuing education every two years. Who is the enforcement authority? The article was in reference to the LEED NC 2.2 so I assume the enforcement authority is the LEED review team. This is not a leading question as I really don't know the answer. What are the educational, training and certification requirements for a LEED reviewer?

As I stated, this is all in the "what if" scenario that mistakes or errors are made which can happen with any methodology allowed.

For the record, I have read the ASHRAE IAQ Guide. Any mechanical engineer who hasn't has issues. I even went back to refresh and could find nothing that indicates that the IAQ method shouldn't be used. In fact, have you seen the case study on page 173? It shows a reduction of 2350 tons of ac, $2.5M in construction costs and 40M btu in energy consumption per year which equated to $800K in cost per year. They estimated $13M in savings since the building had been occupied in 1991. Post occupancy testing (which I am a huge proponent of) in 2005 proves the system works and maintains better IAQ than the equivalent ventilation rate method. Why wouldn't the USGBC even have this option on the table.

You haven't answered my question. Does the USGBC know better than ASHRAE and the design professionals?

Eric said...

Larry,

Contact Bruce DeMaine - Vice President, Certification for your certification questions.
Here are the requirements for an energy modeler, I would assume whomever reviews the ventilation section has similar requirements:

Education and Training Requirements/Preferences
Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree preferred) in mechanical or energy engineering or equivalent
Professional engineer license preferred
CEM certification preferred
LEED AP required upon hire; with specialty preferred (BD+C, ID+C, O+M)
LEED Certification Reviewer certificate preferred (required after hire)
Experience Requirements
Minimum two years direct professional experience in mechanical system design, energy modeling, commissioning and/or energy auditing
Direct experience with at least 10 energy models for commercial projects by consulting on, creating or reviewing compliance with ASHRAE Std. 90.1, California’s Title-24 or equivalent local code
Experience with a variety of high-performance building projects, including LEED projects
Direct experience using energy modeling programs for commercial buildings (eQuest, EnergyPro, Trace, HAP, Visual DOE, etc.) and understanding of their input and output summary documentation
Ability to read, understand and interpret building floor plans, sections, site plans, construction specifications and operational policies
Detailed technical understanding of and experience with common environmental building codes and standards (e.g., ASHRAE 90.1, ASHRAE 62, ASHRAE 55, Title 24, IPMVP Vol. III, IESNA RP-33, ASHRAE 189, IECC)
Othere Required Skills and Qualifications
Excellent judgment, analytical thinking, and problem-solving skills
Detail-oriented and able to prioritize
Experience serving in a technical consultative role
Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including technical writing
Excellent ability to clearly explain advanced technical issues in manner that is easily understood
Strong interpersonal and customer service skills
Ability to work well both independently and on teams
Strong computer skills, including proficiency in MS Office suite and LEED Online
Passion and commitment to USGBC mission

Eric said...

Larry,

"You haven't answered my question. Does the USGBC know better than ASHRAE and the design professionals?"
I can't speak for the USGBC, I'm sure they'll provide you with their rationale if you ask nicely.

Or contact the USGBC LEED Environmental Quality Technical Advisory Group.
In the meantime read the whole article which I believe covers your issues.
http://www.taylor-engineering.com/downloads/articles/ASHRAE%20Journal%20-%20LEED%20and%20Standard%2062.1-Taylor.pdf

As a non expert it would seem to be a cost of compliance and risk issue.
From http://eetd.lbl.gov/ie/pdf/LBNL-63005.pdf Page 10
“I suspect that many designers are uncomfortable with the “loose” nature of the procedure and the perceived risks associated with the non-engineering judgments and knowledge it requires.”
“The IAQP offers a valid alternative to the VRP, allowing designers to comply with Standard 62 while taking credit for air cleaning and material-emissions enhancements, for instance. However, compliance is neither easy nor risk-free.”
I'm interested in why you only attack LEED and ignore the Europeans who require much, much higher ventilation rates.

Anonymous said...

I see lots of "preferred" in there, but not "required".

What is an "or equivalent" to a bachelors in mechanical or energy engineering?

The rest is subjective based on an application and/or resume review. The potential is there for a junior designer 2 years out of school to be passing judgment on professional engineers who actually have a stake what they design.

Energy modeling is a prescribed exercise... not difficult, just time consuming. Some of the youngest engineers / designers on our staff can bust them out very quickly and accurately. However, I wouldn't put any of them in a position to be making large scale decisions or passing judgments on a seasoned professional engineer's decisions.

You provided some info on one of my questions. What about the rest?

Are you indicating that the USGBC knows better than ASHRAE and the licensed design professionals?

When post occupancy testing clearly indicates other alternatives work at higher efficiencies, lower costs, less energy use, why won't those alternatives be considered? Did you review the case study in the document you referenced? Explain your position based on that.

Would you take issue with green building requirements being built into code or do you believe that the USGBC's third party process is necessary?

Your obvious disdain for PE's concerns me. Do you really believe that we choose to overdesign HVAC systems for glass boxes and are all on vacations paid for by equipment suppliers?

Go back and review all of my posts. At no time did I say anything derogatory about anything. Most of my comments are objective. I had a couple jabs, but nothing on the order of what you dish out.

You should note there are more than one anonymous poster in here. My posts were October 24, 2010 11:27 AM and from October 28, 2010 8:08 PM on.

I choose to post anonymously, especially with people having such a fervor and close ties to the USGBC. I have heard of situations where people I know who bucked the LEED system had more problems with their reviews after the fact which seemed pointed and more difficult than they had to be. I am not accusing anyone of doing anything, I just choose to be careful. Even though I have lost faith with the USGBC, the system isn't going anywhere and I am forced to continue working with it.

Eric said...

Larry,

It's called satire: the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

Do I really think every ME is taking the fee to design a building that uses far more energy than required? No, but some do.

Eric said...

Larry,

"Would you take issue with green building requirements being built into code or do you believe that the USGBC's third party process is necessary?"

It didn't take code for sustainability to become a primary consideration in building a project, but it did take LEED. I'm a Adam Smith and John Locke capitalist so the short answer is no I don't think more required regulation is the best answer.

Eric said...

Larry,
What is an "or equivalent" to a bachelors in mechanical or energy engineering?
Doesn't most every state allow people to become PE's without actually having a degree? I imagine it's HR language. Perhaps reviewing "seasoned professional engineers" calculations isn't that rigorous? jk

"The rest is subjective based on an application and/or resume review. The potential is there for a junior designer 2 years out of school to be passing judgment on professional engineers who actually have a stake what they design."
Don't you think they have someone reviewing their work? Don't you do reviews on your less experienced people?

Eric said...

Larry,

I've done some more research on your question and everything I find seems to back up why the USGBC would consider the VRP procedure the better way to go and if the 62.1-2004 User's Manual is correct most of your colleagues agree.

“Another significant factor in deciding which procedure to use is the willingness of the ventilation system designer to take on the level of design and analysis effort and the additional risk and responsibility that the IAQP entails. Historically, the VRP has been by far the most commonly used procedure. This is mostly due to perceived simplicity (reduced design time) and perceived reduction in risk (exposure to lawsuits) related to possible future indoor air quality complaints. The IAQP requires the designer to make many more assumptions in calculations, such as which contaminants to consider and what concentrations are acceptable, assumptions that are effectively built into the VRP. These assumptions are usually judgment calls on the part of the designer, who may or may not be well equipped to make them, and may be questioned should air quality problems ever occur in the building.”

Perhaps you can turn the tide and make a global change? Good luck, I'm all for less energy and better IAQ.

Anonymous said...

Why bring riducule or sarcasm into what I believe to be a necessary debate?

What about the more pertinent question? Does the USGBC know better when it comes to IAQ than ASHRAE or the professional engineers? Why would they remove an option that has proven to be more cost effective, improve indoor air quality, improve energy efficiency when ASHRAE clearly allows it and endorses it's use?

Every state that I practice in requires that you have a minimum four year bachelor degree in engineering. For example, bachelor degrees in engineering technology programs are not accepted.

Yes, we check the work of our junior engineers / designers. However, we wouldn't ask them to be a reviewer of an senior engineer's work. When we get hired to do code compliance plan reviews, peer reviews or commissioning services, our experienced engineers do those and should not have to be reviewed by others. If the USGBC does that, it would seem a little inefficient since their sole purpose is plan review.

Just me and Eric in here? Anyone else home?

Anonymous said...

You must have been typing at the same time as me and didn't catch your last post until after mine.

Did you even read what you posted? It says that engineers / designers don't use the IAQ method as much because of the ventilation rate method's perceived simplicity and perceived reduction in risk. In other words, VRP is more common because people are lazy and are afraid they will be sued. Scrupulous engineers are not lazy nor are they afraid of risk because they do their homework to protect their own liability.

I will do what I can to help with global change, however it will have to be on non-LEED projects since the USGBC has removed the ability for the design professional to do so.

Eric said...

Larry,

Do you need someone to help you out?

I believe sometimes a little levity goes a long way.

The debate you need to have isn't with me and it looks to have been decided already.

If you look on the various state websites many allow work experience in lieu of actual education, list yours and I'll check it out for you.

So what I'm getting is you don't like someone else verifying your work. Get over it. It's their game and their rules, it isn't like they have required a procedure that isn't commonly used or accepted. My suggestion is to get on the LEED TAG and try to make a change if you feel so strongly about it.

Eric said...

Larry,

I don't think the majority of designers are lazy. Being wary of making assumptions about contaminates designers have no control over or agreed limits just seems prudent.

“The concept of providing "performance-based" solutions is desirable in principle. However, there are numerous risks associated with both the quantitative and subjective evaluations provided within the IAQ procedure that every designer should understand.
“Because there are numerous contaminants that either will not be detected or for which "definite limits have not been set," this portion of the procedure has significant risks associated with it. It is unlikely that all contaminants of concern will be evaluated or reduced to acceptable levels. It is also not practical to measure all potential contaminants, and in some cases, such as with fungus or mold, measurement may not be possible.”

Get on the TAG and convince them.

Anonymous said...

Nothing in your postings indicates that the IAQ method doesn't work or shouldn't be used. The position that error and poor design is the baseline is my fundamental problem with the argument.

The question that I haven't heard and answer to... So, the USGBC knows more about IAQ than ASHRAE and the design professionals?

If the IAQ method doesn't work and there is so much out there that says it doesn't work, why is it an alternative included in ASHRAE 62.1? You would think ASHRAE would know it doesn't work and remove it from the Standard. The problem is that there are proven technologies that work perfectly fine.

Continuing to post clips that say its hard, not as common or that there are risks doesn't answer my question and is a waste of your energy.

I have absolutely no issues with a qualified person reviewing my work. Would a doctor want and intern reviewing his charts? Would a lawyer have a paralegal argue their case? You have to understand where I am coming from on this.

Anyone else out there have any more input?

BTW... who is Larry?

Eric said...

Larry,

Again, I can't speak for the USGBC.

Good luck with your quest.

Anonymous said...

That's what I thought. You have no explanation and now refer me to the USGBC. It is unfortunate that people similar to you are making the rules.

You can be zealous about a cause, but typically a zealot's judgment is clouded.

Goodnight.

Eric said...

Larry,

I consistently referred you to the USGBC as I can't speak for them and I only presented my educated guess why they might do what they did and do.

Again I suggest you ask them directly.
Usually when you point your finger at someone four are pointing back at yourself.

Anonymous said...

Eric,
Just so you know how you come across to others: arrogance, aloofness, audacity, bluster, conceit, disdain, ego, haughtiness, hubris, insolence, loftiness, ostentation, overbearance, pomposity, presumption, pride, scornfulness, self-importance, smugness, vanity.

The number of quotes you use leads me to believe you don't know enough of the subject to make your own argument.

Engineers have a pretty low BS tolerance. I'm too busying trying to be billable for my company to waste it fighting the USGBC bureaucracy. I don't know how to get on a TAG, nor do I have the desire for the politics to get elected to one. I make suggestions to improve LEED when it's open for public comments. If USGBC feels they know better then all of the commenter’s then fine. They can sit in their own pile and think happy thoughts while I do my best to make efficient buildings.

I know your ego requires you to get the last word in so have at it.

Eric said...

Larry,

Thanks for the wonderful compliments.

If you believe in something you should fight for it. I never could stand people who cry about a problem and then do nothing to fix it. Have courage in your convictions and do something or don't cry about it.

Don't be part of the problem, be part of the solution.

Have a nice day and try to smile it isn't really so bad.

Eric said...

Larry,

If you'd like to meet up for coffee and discuss things further face to face I'm ready to fly to you, just let me know how I can contact you.

Anonymous said...

I believe HG is doing something about it. You should be supporting him for following your advice.

Eric said...

Lucky Larry,

He's wrong; but at least he is ready to make a stand for what he believes in. I can respect that. I can't respect anonymous whiners who make excuses for everything they can't do and lack the fortitude to carry through with their beliefs.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous who posted at November 1, 2010 8:38 AM...

Well said.

To the Larry hater... I personally do not have the time to fight the USGBC. However, I have contacted HG and offered to donate to his legal fund! We all do what we can.

p.s. you do realize there is more than one anonymous poster in here, don't you? I doubt we are all named Larry. :) You made me smile, but not in a good way.

Eric said...

Larry, Larry, and Daryl,

All the anger you have bottled up inside is bad for your heart.

Eric said...

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

"I'm too busying trying to be billable for my company to waste it fighting the USGBC bureaucracy. I don't know how to get on a TAG, nor do I have the desire for the politics to get elected to one. I make suggestions to improve LEED when it's open for public comments. If USGBC feels they know better then all of the commenter’s then fine. They can sit in their own pile and think happy thoughts while I do my best to make efficient buildings."

Anonymous said...

So working for a living and using my talents to design efficient buildings is part of the problem?

And if I want to be part of the solution I have to donate hundreds of hours of my time in the hope that LEED will improve?

hmmm.... sounds a bit like a monopoly to me.

douglas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The problems discussed in this thread are the result of the USGBC and the LEED system's decisions. So not being a part of the solution to fix the issues with the USGBC now makes the design professionals part of the problem. Which came first... the chicken or the egg?

douglas said...

It is my opinion that this is about sour grapes by someone that may not be a licensed building professional with real credentials. Owning and managing properties does not make one an expert. I have to ask - Is he an architect ? is he an engineer ? Is he a PhD ? Can he pass the LEED exam ? What credentials does this person have other than being able to file a law suit against an organization that has transformed the building industry and raised the bar for sustainability ! I prefer to drink wine that is not spoiled !

Anonymous said...

Douglas... Have you googled HG's name? He is not a PE. He is not a LEED AP. However, he has worked in the engineering field for a while. His ownership of buildings fueled his fervor for reducing his energy costs and his passion for energy conservation. I am amazed that more building Owners aren't this passionate about the topic.

I had no idea who HG was before the ASHRAE newsletter highlighted his suit last month. Since then, I have done some research. I know many people in the design industry who remind me of him. He promotes true, verifiable energy efficiency in buildings. The concern with the USGBC is that much of the effort is fueled toward feel good measures and not actual tangible energy efficiency.

Eric said...

Larry, Larry, and Daryl,

In my view professionals are required to actually try and fix a problem, if one truly exists, and not just cry about it.

"The professional carries additional moral responsibilities to those held by the population in general."

Some people work, have hobbies, go to school, volunteer, and have families all at the same time. Other people just cry.

Anonymous said...

You're saying professionals are required to donate their time to a group someone else decides is important for the betterment of society? I thought you didn't like communism?

Who are you to say how I have to spend my time and when I earn the right to an opinion?

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Larry,

I can say whatever I want and you can do whatever you want. And I'm free to feel and tell people they aren't professionals if they identify a, supposed, problem and do nothing but complain about it on a blog instead of getting involved and fixing the problem. I'm sure you could make a change through involvement in ASHRAE or another organization. Be creative, think outside of the box, or beyond your pocket protector. Just no more excuses why you can't do something, please. Can't never did anything Larry.

Eric said...

Larry,

Unlike you, I have a certificate hanging on my wall from the US government thanking me for contributing to our country winning the Cold War.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an ego. You're what, in your 30's??? How did you help win the Cold War as a child? A little community college and an online masters degree and you act like you know everything. Let me know when you've worked on a dozen LEED projects and done the documentation for 20 or so points. Then you can tell me how LEED will save the world.

Eric said...

Larry,

Anonymous stands for coward.

"If you served honorably on active duty, the Guard, Reserve, or as a DOD federal employee from Sept 2, 1945 to Dec 26, 1991, you are authorized the Cold War Recognition Certificate."

Anytime you want to get together we'll see if your pocket protector can save you????

Eric said...

As I said before Larry,

Unlike you, I have a certificate hanging on my wall from the US government thanking me for contributing to our country winning the Cold War.

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Larry, I'm working on seven LEED projects today and have done the documentation for well over 20 points. My Masters was, through a real university - RICS accredited even, weekends for 30 months with 21 other real estate professionals who all had previous masters or bachelor degrees. I did seven years of cc, two degrees, at nights and during the summer while working 60-80 hours per week courtesy of the GI Bill and volunteered as a Big Brother. I don't think I'm special as you assert just a hard worker. If it threatens you, I have some advice. Work harder.

Anonymous said...

So why do you trivialize everyone else?

Eric said...

Larry,

I don't trivialize everyone else; if you perceive that then it's a case of your own insecurities.

Now I expect you to say you're sorry for disrespecting my military service and for you to identify yourself or you are a coward.

Eric said...

Larry???

Anonymous said...

I never disrespected your military service. Be proud of your service. And thanks for the service. Don't expect me to feel inferior or second class to you because you served.

Sure I'm scared. You theatened to hurt me. You said I'd need saving when you visited me. I don't like hospitals.

Eric said...

Larry,

I never threatened to hurt you. Once again you're perceiving my statements in the wrong way. I said your pocket protector wouldn't save you if we were debating face to face over coffee. Meaning your pocket protector wouldn't help you win a debate with me.

You did disrespect me and my military service. I don't expect you to feel one way or the other. It's your life you can feel how you want. I volunteered, you didn't; some people do, some people watch. It's the USA; you have the freedom to do what you want within limits and I proudly protected that right, you didn't. I do expect you to apologize and man up and say who you are.

Anonymous said...

What the hell does any of this have to do this the lawsuit?

Eric said...

Absolutely nothing.

Eric said...

Larry wants to make it about me.

Anonymous said...

My husband was part of the protests in the first country to break away from the USSR. Now he doesn't have a certificate to hang on the wall but I think he did a lot more than Eric towards ending the Cold War. I'm not knocking Eric's service but that he's using this certificate to score points in an arguement is sad.

Eric said...

What's really sad is people who post anonymously.
Good for your husband! You should be proud of him and I'm glad you and / or him now have the freedom to criticize me because of US soldiers who stood ready on the front line.
Larry insinuated I was a communist so I thought I would correct him. He obviously never has had the guts to stand up and fight for anything he believes in. He'd rather Google things he thinks he knows about me and post them online like a junior high adolescent.

Eric said...

Larry,

Here's your chance.

Update to LEED First Public Comment Period Opening Monday, Nov. 8
Beginning Monday, November 8th, USGBC will begin the first public comment period for the next update to the LEED rating system, with first public comment expected to run through the end of 2010. The proposed next update is a general technical update to the rating system content; the proposed updates will undergo at least two public comment periods and a member ballot vote, per LEED development requirements.

The first public comment period is open to all interested USGBC stakeholders. USGBC will also host a number of webcasts for members regarding the technical changes proposed for the update, which will be advertised in the coming weeks. Additionally, for those attending Greenbuild 2010, check out the specialty updates regarding the update to LEED, featuring LEED staff and Technical Advisory Group members and chairs.

LEED Committee Openings through
Dec. 31
The LEED committees are currently conducting a needs assessment for additional areas of expertise to request in an upcoming Expression of Interest Period. The USGBC membership is an essential part of LEED rating system development, relying on volunteers to provide the technical and market expertise necessary to create a robust leadership tool for green design, construction, operations and maintenance of buildings and communities. In addition to recommending policies to the USGBC Board, LEED committees and committees have primary responsibility for the development, implementation, and revisions of LEED.

The following technical advisory groups (TAGs) and committees have openings in various areas of expertise:

Energy & Atmosphere TAG
Indoor Environmental Quality TAG
Materials and Resources TAG
Sustainable Sites TAG
Technical Committee
Market Advisory Committee
The call is open through Dec. 31 at 5 p.m. PT. Applicants must be employed by a USGBC national member organization in good standing.

Anonymous said...

You still here? You seem to have conversations with yourself a lot. I noticed you cut and paste your responses from one forum to the next, also. You should generate new material.

I am sure they would listen to anyone with reason... Whatever they do I am sure it won't make things unnecessarily complex or have new rulings or directives that are more against their premise. And I am sure they won't make the new requirements retroactive. (Hopefully the sarcasm isn't wasted.)

You all have fun at your "feel good" party. Many of us will be busy designing energy efficient buildings while you play. Any effort I would offer would be to create a new green system that would meet the government mandates and utilizes common sense and post occupancy verification for actual ratings. Why would anyone waste time fixing something they don't believe in or had any part in its creation. The next wave will be people looking for non-LEED green rating options.

Joel McKellar said...

Ladies and gentlemen,

I think we can all agree this conversation has devolved beyond any constructive criticism or support of LEED or the relative merits or shortcomings of this post. I always aim to encourage discussion about LEED, whether it be related to its strengths or weaknesses.

I don't like to remove any comments, but would hope we can end the personal discussion on both sides and move on. I welcome further comments on the issues discussed on this site, but will be deleting any further comments I feel that don't move the conversation forward. I may also remove some past comments as well. I hope everyone agrees this is a reasonable action.

I genuinely appreciate your earlier contributions (again on both sides), as I think it's important that those for and against LEED certification have an open forum to share their thoughts. It can only work to make the system stronger in the long run. I get the impression that everyone involved in this conversation is working in their own way to create a more sustainable built environment, despite the fact that we disagree on the best way to reach those goals. Please keep that in mind!

Best,

Joel

Eric said...

Larry,

I have simply tried to provide you with constructive ways to redress your grievances. Good luck designing your buildings I would suggest you try natural ventilation, instead of mechanical ventilation. When you get time check out the European ventilation requirements they are 150% more than ASHRAE.

Anonymous said...

The USGBC is losing credibility... I personally have had three projects recently move to Green Globes for the reasons outlined in this thread.

So long... Green Globes allows the design professionals the latitude to make the best decisions for the project while maintaining and implementing the most sustainable design principles possible.

Cha Ching in reverse... soon the USGBC will wonder what the heck happened. Real energy savings, real sustainable design will take place, not just self serving reinvestment in a bureaucratic bloated money hog. When every LEED submittal results in new requirements, new information requests that simply imply the design professionals are lying in their documentation that end in denial requiring costly appeals it makes many wonder about the motives.

"Must make money... must keep this going... must..." See ya!

Sincerely,

Larry... and my other brother Daryl.