Now that the class action lawsuit against the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has been dismissed, some questions still remain. In Mr. Gifford’s complaints against the organization, he alleged that the non-profit organization made false claims regarding energy efficiency. The dismissal of the lawsuit means that those claims will not be tested in a court of law, at least not yet.
Joseph Eckhardt, at Ahead of Schedule, wrote about the case, offering the following:
So what does this mean? For one thing, one shouldn’t discount the value of a green building certification, whether from LEED, National Association of Home Builders, Green Globes, or any other comparable program. Certifications provide a nice, simple way to prove the green credentials of a building. On the other hand, additional disclosure may be prudent, particularly for those who market or advertise certain green attributes of a building. Architects, builders, owners – and anyone else who might profit from such claims – must be careful to not overstate or misstate the significance of a green building certification. With respect to energy efficiency, for example, a good LEED score may abe the result of significant energy efficiency, or it may not.