Filing a complaint about LEED Certified buildings?

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    Does anybody know how to file a complaint about a building that is LEED certified, but isn’t operating as such? Without going into specifics, this building is in West Seattle and was built recently as “Built Green”/LEED certified, but really isn’t holding up their end of the bargain as such.

    I’ve look on the city’s Department of Planning and Development website and that doesn’t really seem to be the most appropriate avenue. Anybody know how to file a complaint?



    I presume that you mean that the utility costs aren’t what you assumed when you bought or rented a LEED unit? LEED is simply an accreditation of a building, not a DPD code requirement. However, there are many land use codes that require certain standards. I think the only way DPD would get involved would be if something were faulty on the building itself (I.e no insulation, windows falling out, structural settling causing safety issues). And even then, I think you would have more luck with the builder than the City in terms of remediation or reimbursement. Most new for sale units come with a year warranty. Most new multi family buildings (for rent) have a contract with the builder for a year guaranteeing fixing of broken things. I would bring whatever problem you have to the responsible party.

    All this being said, I am a a developer and the performance of LEED buildings is a hot topic right now. LEED does not guarantee an efficient building and you cannot control for faulty construction or individual behavior. there are a lot of variables in building systems that may lead to higher bills than you were expecting.

    Mind sharing your issue? I am curious now!



    The city has nothing to do with certification to my knowledge.

    Please do NOT discuss any project or building by name unless you have brought it to its owners/managers attention already, as per our “complaint about business” policy.

    Meantime, looks like a lot of information about LEED challenges/decertifications in this paper I found with a quick Google:

    The basics of LEED certification and what’s supposed to be done to run a certified building are here:




    Thanks Tracy! Great advice as always! It has been brought to the owners attention, as per the usual, however, no response has been taken. I’m not going to go into specifics though, b/c that gets us nowhere. I’ll investigate from your links.

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