Up in Wisconsin, a group of concerned citizens challenged the LEED certification of a high school under the Green Building Certification Institute’s (GBCI) Certification Challenge Policy. The LEED challenge came to light in December 2009 although it was originally filed in 2008. Last week, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) denied the LEED challenge. The following is a description of the ruling that I received from Susan Dorn, USGBC and GBCI General Counsel:
"(On April 28, the) USGBC concluded its review of a challenge to the certification of a Gold LEED for Schools, that of Northland Pines High School (NPHS) in Eagle River, Wisconsin. In the process of its review, USGBC engaged two extraordinarily qualified engineering consultants (Taylor Engineering and Horizon Engineering) to review the technical merits of the prerequisites and credits in question. Further, USGBC staff performed a site visit of the school. After an exhaustive review of the final engineering reports and documentation submitted by NPHS, USGBC concluded that there was sufficient evidence to show that the school’s perquisites and credits had been met. Thus, no adverse action will be taken as to the LEED certification of NPHS. Challenges to LEED certification advanced in the future will be undertaken by GBCI; the challenge to NPHS was reviewed by USGBC as a legacy project."
So there you have it, the first official LEED Certification Challenge has been denied. Until a copy of the Wisconsin residents’ complaint is made public, I don’t have much to add on this particular challenge. This is another example of a green school that has resulted in a dispute, which further supports my theory that schools will be the hotbed of LEEDigation.
I do have plenty to add regarding the general concept of the LEED Certification Challenge policy.
But I want to hear your thoughts first. What’s your view of the LEED Certification Challenge policy? What will be the ramifications?