Henry Gifford – Building Energy Science, USGBC Lawsuit and more!

Air Date: 11-12-2010|Episode 187


This week Mr. Henry Gifford of Building Energy Science joins us to discuss building science issues, energy savings techniques and the class action lawsuit he is part of against the United Stated Green Building Council (USGBC)…

Full Description:

This week Mr. Henry Gifford of Building Energy Science joins us to discuss building science issues, energy savings techniques and the class action lawsuit he is part of against the United Stated Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program has become the de facto building state of the art for many architects, building owners, local, state and federal buildings. Mr. Gifford contends that just should not be the case and that the program does not help save energy and therefore is fatally flawed.

Z-Man’s Blog:

Energy LEEDers or Liars?

Citing the state of California’s decision to drop their energy codes for mere promises that buildings would save energy supported by computer modeling was the tipping point that compelled energy efficiency expert Henry Gifford to file a class action lawsuit against the USGBC’s LEED rating system. Henry’s frustration with the LEED rating was clearly evident during the interview.

Nuggets mined from today’s show:

· According to Henry, in large buildings the dominant potential for energy savings lies within the building’s mechanical systems.

· Henry expressed concern that LEED’s ratings are no longer consensus based.

· Henry is critical that LEED fudges the numbers claiming that LEED buildings are more energy efficient than non-LEED buildings when the opposite is true.

· He is critical over LEED’s management of statistics, comparing median to mean is useless and that the difference between two averages is a percentage difference not a range of percentage difference.

· According to Henry, the LEED system incentivizes dishonesty, using estimated energy savings based upon elaborate computer modeling rather than actual fuel consumption statistics.

· Akin to measuring the “cuteness of a puppy” the LEED system claims to measure things that can’t be measured, such as “productivity” and “healthiness” akin to measuring cuteness of a puppy.

· A photo of the Manhattan skyline at night, one building stands out. It’s a highly rated LEED building, “an energy nightmare all glass high rise building with all the lights left on.”

· When asked if LEED is an example of green-washing, Henry asserted that “LEED is the definition of green-washing”.

· If it isn’t LEED it isn’t good has become the public’s reality. LEED is being legislated into law and costly decisions are being based upon it.

Henry doesn’t complain about energy conservation ratings without offering a solution. He suggests that an organization and expensive fees aren’t required and that a practical and simple solution exists, comparison of fuel bills.

Henry candidly admits that most of his support is private rather than public, peers are fearful of retribution, loss of public funding.

Today’s music: When I Get To The Green Building By: Electric Six

Z-Man Signing Off

 

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