Lots of people call LEED-certification a scam (in the same boat as "USDA Certified Organic" foods.) The process to get your building certified is expensive, arduous and long. It also sometimes misses the point:
That translates to a bike rack being the same value as a million dollar HVAC system. Which do you think developers are choosing to install?
"In LEED, you need 26 of 69 possible points to get certified, and all points are weighted equally, even though some have far greater environmental benefits than others."
At the same time, LEED is what we've got. A bike rack is better than nothing. And the program is popular. There are now over 100,000 certified LEED professionals. This Spring, 11 architects from downtown Pittsburgh firm, Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goetell (PWWG), hopped on the bandwagon and achieved certification. It's a lot easier to build an LEED-certified building when you have an LEED-certified architect designing it.
Congratulations to PWWG for making Pittsburgh a greener place, at least in the eyes of marketers. In a city that's historically suffered in marketing itself, this is a good green step in the right direction.
"Most architects can already design green, but LEED-certification is a good marketing tool," says Anne J. Swager, Hon. AIA, executive director of AIA Pittsburgh.