In principle, I support the investment of “trying for” high levels of LEED certification; it seems really “green” and environmentally responsible, which I think is important. What bothers me, however, is how do we measure the effectiveness on an ongoing basis? How do we know, for certain, that the environment is better off?
When I went looking on the LEED website, I found a really cool tool that breaks down the score for individual buildings. Carrie Busey scored a 61 out of 100, two points away from the lower Silver rating. What is really cool about the Scorecard is that it is both 1) aesthetically pleasing with Web 2.0 toys, and 2) quite useful in figuring out where Carrie Busey got points, and where it did not. This is one step in the whole accountability thing. For instance, we can see that the architects did really good with “Energy & Atmosphere” and “Innovation”, but really poor in “Sustainable Sites”.
The other part of my question remains though. What if LEED engineers made annual visits to make sure the certification was up to date? Could we measure the positive impact without comparing to a negative example? Just curious.