Gold standard for green buildings under fire

One of the primary criticisms of the LEED rating system is that without actual measurement of energy usage, claims regarding energy savings are hollow. My understanding is that future versions of the LEED rating system will incorporate such metrics. Until then, New York City’s commercial buildings are going to be producing a significant amount of useful data regarding actual energy usage:

This year, for the first time, owners of 25,000 commercial properties in New York must report their buildings’ energy use to the city. The data will be compiled into publicly posted report cards that officials hope will shame energy hogs into making the renovations needed to improve their scores, much the same way that issuing letter grades to restaurants is making owners shape up.

The city’s effort comes as pressure mounts to find alternatives to the pioneering 10-year-old LEED ranking system, which reflects a building’s environmental performance. But LEED doesn’t measure energy use and costs, something a growing number of engineers, architects and landlords insist must be done. Their concerns and a general blossoming of environmental awareness have spawned a host of rating systems that could test LEED’s dominance.