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Warning: LEED Certification Claim is Not Always As it Seems

LEED certification is something for any business to be proud of, but real estate lawyers and consultants say that claims of certification bear examination.

As the appeal of green building grows, so does the perceived value of buildings that have attained certification -- leading to an increase in misrepresentation of some properties' rating status, experts recently told the commercial real estate information service CoStar Group.

The questionable claims include representing that LEED certification is a done deal, when in fact a project only has been registered, is pending review, or has not yet been completed. Pre-certification can add to the confusion because the assessment and ratings process is not complete until the building project is done, its documentation has been reviewed and certification is finalized.

And sometimes claims are just implausible, such as one assertion that a property had been certified although ground had yet to be broken on the project.

As noted in the Green Building Impact Report by GreenerBuildings Executive Editor Rob Watson, some 25 to 30 percent of the projects registered for LEED certification don't complete the process. 

Claims of LEED certification can be checked using the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED directory.  

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