LEEDing us Astray?

LEED certification for supposed leading work on green buildings, a focus of the city of Eugene, is facing criticism.

Las Vegas Weekly reports on LEED Gold certification by the private U.S. Green Building Council for two new Las Vegas Casinos. The paper writes:

“Giant buildings that welcome and encourage the extravagant, wasteful behavior of thousands of guests at the same time hardly seem like a recipe for saving Mother Earth.”

The article also notes use of LEED certification for parking garages and for building a new school in Texas on the edge of town to replace one requiring less driving to get to. “Sure, it features a bioswale to capture storm-water runoff from the parking lot-but the old school didn’t have a parking lot.”

In Eugene some dubious LEED buildings include the UO’s Lillis business school (which put solar sells not on the roof where the sun shines, but on the front windows where they could be seen for the PR value) and the Royal Caribbean call center which chose to locate not downtown but next to a freeway exit on the edge of Springfield where employees drive to acres of parking lots.

View Larger Map

The City of Eugene has claimed a leadership role on green building, but its biggest building project involves moving 250 police employees out of downtown to a building next to a freeway in north Eugene with ample parking lots.