Eco-Mansions Proposed by U2’s The Edge Demonstrate LEED’s Failings Claim Critics

We received a number of emails and comments on our post back in January wherein we wrote about Alec Appelbaum‘s Fast Company piece on the growing backlash against LEED certification. While long-perceived as the Earth-saving solution to building, the eco-friendly veneer has been tarnished somewhat over the past couple of years, with some saying the imposed LEED building codes “are producing dud buildings and that taxpayers are footing the bill through subsidies” and that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) behind all of it often muscles its certification demands into developments of all kinds. And now another, new complaint has surfaced, this time involving U2 guitarist, The Edge. As the AP reports, the musician has plans to “build a cluster of mansions overlooking the Pacific Ocean” in Malibu, California. While he’s sought extra-green LEED-certification for each of the houses (“averaging 10,500-square feet each”), critics have complained that this is the sort of invasive development that the USGBC should be trying to stop before anyone even starts thinking about how green the new buildings will be. In its own defense, the Council says it doesn’t have the authority to tell people what private properties they can and can’t build on, as that’s an issue for local government. However, it does have the ability to lean on the system when it believes a project risks jeopardizing the environment, something critics of The Edge’s development don’t think the organization is doing enough of. As of now, the project is at a standstill, awaiting a decision from California Coastal Commission sometime over the next two months. In the mean time, those opposed will continue to fight, the development’s site will likely get more defensive than it already is (surprisingly so, we think), and either a lot of green houses will be built or nature will stay nature. Here’s video of the project: