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Refurbished Office Cubicles And The LEED Controversy

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest news on LEED certification, you know that the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has been hit with a class action lawsuit. So far, though, there appears to be only one main plaintiff in the case. That’s energy consultant Henry Gifford. He contends that LEED certified buildings really aren’t more energy efficient than average. According to the statistics he has compiled, he says they are actually much less efficient. Of course, we all know what Mark Twain liked to say about statistics. Gifford feels that the USGBC program is crowding everyone else out of the market and creating a monopoly which is hurting his business. You can find a very thorough overview of the case at the greensource blog.

Since there are some substantial tax incentives that go along with LEED certification, the current lawsuit is unlikely to dissuade employers from participating in this very popular program. Refurbished office cubicles fall into the category of sustainable purchasing choices that can help companies earn LEED points. Fortunately, when it comes to reusing and refinishing office furniture, the “green” benefits aren’t really under dispute. When you buy pre-owned or refurbished cubicles, this conserves both raw materials and fossil fuels that would otherwise be consumed in the manufacturing process. Since this is also much cheaper than buying new, there’s little doubt that it will continue to be the smart choice regardless of what happens down the road with LEED.


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