With the recent introduction of LEED 2009 and with major revisions to LEED EB (now EB-OM) and serious structural changes to the LEED Accredited Professional requirements—one must wonder if USGBC is killing the goose that lays their golden eggs.
After thousands of professionals have spend countless hours and tens of millions of dollars “LEED-ing” project teams through the registration and certification process, does the industry really have unlimited resources (or patience) for constantly adapting to expensive and increasingly fluid LEED requirements?
According to USGBC in a press release dated November 18, 2008, “Coupled with a credit alignment structure designed to create a more elegant and harmonized rating system, LEED 2009 will reset the bar for the certification of high-performance green buildings.”
All these changes sort of beg the question: If the original LEED rating systems had been properly vetted and represented the “best practices utopia” they claimed to be—why are so many wholesale revisions necessary? This would be like a casino constantly changing the rules at a poker table to make the game “more elegant and harmonized”.
According to GBCI (the educational wing of USGBC), there are currently over 60,000 LEED Accredited Professionals. When considering the AP exam costs about $300, study materials are about $500 and a USGBC workshop costs about $400—that represents an investment of well over $1,000 per student (not to mention the percentage that don’t pass their first test—or ever). Add in the cost for tens of thousands of project registrations & certifications and you don’t have to be a physicist or a hedge fund manager to understand the true definition of GREEN…
Will these USGBC gambles pay off for “the house”? Or will players simply leave the table in a backlash to constantly changing rules?
To be determined…