Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

New report finds LEED buildings can be unhealthy

June 30, 2010
SAN JOSE, CA — People assume that green buildings are safe: However, a report just released finds many deficiencies in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, according the Examiner.
The rise in asthma, beginning in the early 1980s, has paralleled an increase in energy efficiency of buildings, and data suggests that increased chemical exposure in indoor environments may be the reason, the article stated.
According to the article, greater insulation, less ventilation and a huge increase in new chemicals and products, within new buildings, collectively induce chemical exposures and potential health effects never previously experienced in human history.
LEED does not guarantee a healthy building, but LEED buildings may be less healthy than conventional buildings, the article noted.
Only seven out of a possible 110 points have the primary intent to limit hazardous chemicals within the built environment: Since the highest building rating possible only requires a total score of 80 points, LEED certification is possible, even at the highest "Platinum" level, without earning credits in the indoor air category, the category most likely to protect human health, the article added.
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