Do we need LEED? Quiet national debate underway

Should the U.S. government spend money to get its buildings qualified for and then certified as LEED gold or platinum?

Congress opened that debate in the passed and signed-into-law National Defense Authorization Act of 2011. Section 2830, according to this report from Pro Sales magazine, apparently prohibited the Department of Defense (DOD) from chasing the two higher LEED certifications by withholding money that would have been spent for this purpose. There is a third LEED certification, silver, which apparently was not specifically mentioned in the legislation.

Additionally, the DOD must report to Congress by June 30 on its green efforts, including “a cost-benefit analysis” of LEED.

But there is more in the fine print. The law prohibits the DOD from building to LEED platinum or gold if the effort costs more. However, if the cost is not elevated, the military is still able—in fiscal year 2012—to pursue the higher ratings. And that, according to a article, is exactly what the DOD is doing.

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