Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Proposed LEED Mandate Fails, Working Group Created to Investigate Issue

Bill 87, introduced by Councilmember Donovan Dela Cruz, which would require all new buildings on Oahu to be LEED Platinum certified by 2014, failed to pass the Council according to the Honolulu Advertiser.

As I discussed in City and County of Honolulu to Require All New Buildings to be LEED Platinum Certified by 2014, Bill 87 is painfully lacking forethought. For one, LEED is one of MANY ways to achieve an environmentally, low impact building. But the bill mandates just one tool from a plethora of options. Second, other municipalities have passed similar bills, but not until they revised some of the requirements of LEED, or tailored a policy that fits their community and market. Third, successful programs include incentives and flexibility for obtaining the objective. Command and control mandates are doomed to fail.

The underlying policy of the bill is laudable and could enjoy wide support if properly drafted after input from stakeholders. This bill lacks vision and sophistication. A working group is an excellent start to formulating a policy that works.

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