Must read: Bank of America’s Toxic Tower: New York’s “greenest” skyscaper is actually its biggest energy hog in New Republic.
“According to data released by New York City last fall, the Bank of America Tower produces more greenhouse gases and uses more energy per square foot than any comparably sized office building in Manhattan. It uses more than twice as much energy per square foot as the 80-year-old Empire State Building. It also performs worse than the Goldman Sachs headquarters, maybe the most similar building in New York—and one with a lower LEED rating. It’s not just an embarrassment; it symbolizes a flaw at the heart of the effort to combat climate change.”
“LEED has helped create a market for sustainability where one didn’t exist before. The problem is that real-estate developers have been able to game the system, racking up points for relatively minor measures. A USA Today series last October found developers accruing points simply by posting educational displays throughout a building and installing bike racks—and avoiding measures that might be more costly and effective.”
““What LEED designers deliver is what most LEED building owners want—namely, green publicity, not energy savings,” John Scofield, a professor of physics at Oberlin, testified before the House last year.”
See also The End of the Age of Tall Buildings.