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Greener Than Thou: Fed Building Too Green For LEED

Greener Than Thou is our report on San Francisco’s obsession with all things green, calling bullshit in the poseurs and lavishing praise on those who have secured their place in environmental paradise. Nominees, holler!

It's no secret that architect Thom Mayne has beef with LEED, the de-facto green design rating system that is now all but a prerequisite for building anything in San Francisco. Despite its widespread acceptance, LEED shouldn't be taken as sacred wri— no one knows this more than Mayne. Because of the way in which LEED ratings are awarded, The San Francisco Federal building does not currently qualify for even base LEED accreditation. Says Mayne in a recent interview, "I wasn't arrogant, but I was confident — I just assumed we had the platinum rating. All of a sudden we went through LEED and it wasn't working." Too damn ahead of its time, the systems used for environmental control in the Fed Building are so innovative that they have yet to be considered so by the overly-prescriptive commandments of Green. The Green Buildings Council, however, claim that LEED is a work-in-progress, and have consented to take the next few months to reevaluate the Federal Building. Hopefully they'll continue to update their requirements so that LEED becomes less of an pocket industry encouraging architects to "tack on" expensive third-party features and more of an impetus for carefully conceived, environmentally-integrated designs.
· The LEED Shade of Green [The New West]
· Thom Mayne Calls Bullshit on LEED [Curbed SF]

[photo via flickr user fionap]

Federal Office Building (50 UNP)

90 7th St, San Francisco, CA 94102