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HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Professor of Public Policy, HKS; Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics, SEAS

Abstract

Efforts to green the building industry are strongly linked to performance metrics such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Yet, despite the importance of climate impact as a driver of green building choices, such standards typically address a basket of poorly quanti?ed “green” attributes and, when they do address energy, they focus on conservation rather than carbon emissions so that that they do not provide an e?cient guide to managing the climate impact of our building stock. Standards such as LEED will enable more cost-e?ective emissions reductions if they distinguish carbon footprint from energy use, avoid arbitrary costine?ective assumptions about best paths for decarbonizing electricity, and close the loop by requiring objective measurements of real-world building performance so we can learn by doing.

Citation

Keith, David. "LEED, Energy Savings, and Carbon Abatement: Related but Not Synonymous." Environmental Science and Technology 45.5 (February 3, 2011): 1757–1758.