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$100M Lawsuit Filed Against USGBC/LEED

Alleges false advertising, monopoly tactics and LEED buildings are actually 29% less energy efficient than conventionally-built structures.

Jason Knott · October 20, 2010

Is green building a sham? Yes, according to one mechanical engineer.

Henry Gifford of Gifford Fuel Saving Inc. is going after the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), purveyors of the LEED green certification program, with a $100 million class-action lawsuit.

imageRead the lawsuit filed by Henry Gifford of Gifford Fuel Saving Inc. against the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

Filed on October 8 in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, the lawsuit claims LEED-certified buildings actually use 29 percent more energy than conventionally-built structures, not the 25-30 percent improvement the USGBC claims.

The suit also alleges USGBC knowingly used false advertising to mislead consumers and that LEED-accredited individuals are “increasingly people with no experience whatsoever.” It also claims USGBC is attempting to “monopolize the market for energy-efficient building design.”

USGBC will not comment on the lawsuit.

Editor’s Note: CE Pro is chronicling the construction of a 5,500-square-foot LEED-certified home on Miami Beach. The first article of the series can be read here.

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  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at

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  Article Topics

News · Builders · Energy Management · LEED · Legal · USGBC · All Topics
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