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LEED and Energy Efficiency: Do Owners Game the System?

TitleLEED and Energy Efficiency: Do Owners Game the System?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMehdizadeh, R, Fischer, M, Celoza, A
Date Published09/01/2014
KeywordsCenter for Integrated Facility Engineering, CIFE, Stanford University
AbstractBy meeting a set of predetermined requites and guidelines in the construction or retrofitting process, building owners are able to obtain The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (“LEED”) certification. Given that LEED certified buildings are often rewarded with financial incentives such as tax breaks and zoning allowances, it has been suggested that applicants for LEED certification take advantage of scoring credits that are easier to obtain, but that may not serve in the interests of the environment. This paper evaluates the frequency with which building owners seeking LEED certification after the year 2009 applied the most energy-reducing measures to their buildings. Specifically focusing on buildings in California, where additional mandatory building codes, such as CalGreen, exist. The investigation has returned that LEED applicants do not seem to display a selective bias against the LEED rating system score credits deemed as particularly energy-friendly.