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General Services Administration Evaluating Green Buildings Policy

3/19/2013 | Construction Blog

The federal government currently uses the LEED 2009 rating system for construction of federal buildings. By law, however, this must be re-evaluated every 5 years. The General Services Administration has opened a public comment period as part of this re-evaluation process and will be accepting opinions on what system it should use until April.


GSA’s exclusive use of LEED 2009 has come under fire from some in the green building industry that claim LEED does not represent the consensus in the industry and gives the United States Green Building Council a monopoly on federal work. Recent delays in the issuance of the new LEED standardsand the onerous obligations associated with them may also be playing a part. Although not stated explicitly, the construction and maintenance costs associated with the standards to be used will also likely play a role in the decision making process.

Three separate standards are being evaluated. The first is LEED 2009, which the government currently uses. The second is the Green Building Initiatives Green Globes standard. Finally, the International Living Future Institutes Living Building Challenge is under consideration. GSA has announced it may choose one or a combination of these standards.

The decision on which standard is adopted will likely come in the summer of 2013 after the public comment period closes.