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US Green Building Council to Require All-Glass LEED Homes

The USGBC Didn't Really Start Requiring All-glass LEED Homes.

New houses certified in the LEED for Homes program will be required to have 100% windows in all above-grade walls once the new 2012 update is approved by US Green Building Council (USGBC) members this summer. The LEED certification program has grown tremendously over the past decade, and in the process, thousands of LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) have learned what it takes to make a building sustainable.

Not surprisingly, they’ve discovered that all-glass buildings are more sustainable than buildings with insulated walls. Having already certified 4,712 all-glass commercial buildings in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, the USGBC has the data.

Crystal Payne, Advanced Aggregate Control Manager with the USGBC, explains, “Getting rid of insulated walls in commercial buildings has been the biggest advance in building science in the last century. Everyone is happier in these buildings, and, as it turns out, saving energy just isn’t that important.”

Those who work in the field certifying these buildings hold tenebrous views on the matter. Says USGBC certified Green Rater Carlos Madrid, who has a blog called The Green Grump, “Well, sand is a rapidly renewable resource, so all-glass buildings can’t be all bad. Wood, on the other hand, has a higher embodied energy and is better used as a feedstock for the cellulose to make money so builders can afford to pay for these projects. That’s what real sustainability is all about!”

Although the 2012 LEED update is now in its third public comment period, some who work in the industry were unaware of the new all-glass requirement. This particular change does not appear in the update documents themselves, but an asterisk on a sub-footnote in the fourth addendum to the letter from the LEED Steering Committee referenced a tweet from @USGBC that described the new glazing requirement.

The mission of the USGBC is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, and this new requirement will help move the industry forward, according to another @USGBC tweet.

“The first measure of sustainability is whether or not the organization promoting a sustainable practice can survive,” explained Payne, “and we’ve been able to continually raise our fees and sell out the most expensive green building conference in the world as a result of promoting all-glass buildings. Our bank accounts prove that we’re sustainable, and therefore all-glass buildings are good for the environment.”

When asked for a comment on the new glazing requirements, acclaimed building scientist Joe Rbleuskit, PhD, PE, ThD said, “Those people should be hunted down and killed.”

When informed of Dr. Joe’s comment, Ms. Payne replied, “Oh, we love Dr. Rbleuskit. He’s been extremely helpful in getting the word out about building science, and we see the work we do as putting his theoretical studies to work in the real world.”

Upon hearing Payne’s words, Dr. Rbleuskit slammed down the phone and let out a primal scream. The last sound captured by this reporter’s recorder was the squealing of Porsche wheels on pavement.

Ms. Payne has been unavailable for followup questions, but others in the organization have stressed how much they’re looking forward to the enhanced sustainablity this new requirement will foster.


Happy April Fools’ Day!


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Photo by seier+seier from, used under a Creative Commons license.


Just in case you still have any doubt, the USGBC is not really requiring all-glass homes. Check the date of the article. This is my annual April Fools Day post.


This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Aong with their call to move
    Aong with their call to move back to the wattle and daub standard with it’s improved thatch and mud sustainability.

  2. Glad to see your sense of
    Glad to see your sense of humor is intact. Happy April Fools to you too!!

  3. I thought it was already
    I thought it was already required. You know, look at all the energy saved due to daylighting. In a heating climate, more points for northside, with lots of steel for thermal conduction.

  4. Considering how long they
    Considering how long they have been certifying all or mostly glass commercial buildings as being energy efficient it is about time that they have implemented this requirement! 
    And as it is a boost for my GLW stock I am also grateful.

  5. Long time researcher, Ising
    Long time researcher, Ising Glass, has been advocating for this forever. Not to be out-done, famous cross-dresser, Trans Lucent, is seeing red over this latest development… as well as pink, purple, chartreuse and some light shades of baby blue.

  6. alert! Bedbugs Carry Brain
    alert! Bedbugs Carry Brain Disease 
    Scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on April 1, 2012 that they recently isolated the cause of the incapacitating brain malfunction plaguing our nation’s capitol. The scientists discovered that a new species of diurnal bedbug now infests buildings throughout the District of Columbia, biting occupants and spreading a devastating brain disease that inflates its victim’s confidence while shrinking the brain’s reasoning and judgment centers.  
    A coalition of government departments, including EPA, Homeland Security, HHS, and DOE launched a joint venture in March to combat this new threat: Departments United to Mitigate Bedbugs (DUMB). DUMB publishes specifications for mitigating bedbugs titled Certified Regulatory Anti-bedbug Protection (CRAP). Saturn Resource Management is proud to announce that DUMB has selected Saturn as their exclusive CRAP distributor.  
    DUMB specifies two acceptable paths to CRAP compliance (which becomes mandatory on April 1, 2013). The preventive path requires covering your carpets, furniture, and personal belongings with Bedbug-Ultra-Repellant Polyethylene (BURP). When you already have a bedbug infestation, which is likely, DUMB requires remediation through Spray Personal Anti-bedbug Pesticide (SPAP). 
    Don’t wait until your bedbug-infected brain has you babbling like a politician. Whether you require BURP or SPAP for DUMB compliance, Saturn stocks the CRAP that you need. Saturn is your one-stop shop for DUMB diagnosis, training, and implementation. Saturn’s CRAP starter kit includes an acre of BURP and a 30-gallon spray barrel of SPAP. Purchase your CRAP starter kit today for the low introductory price of only $999.95.  
    Don’t be DUMB. Avoid bedbug-infected brain disease. Get your CRAP together today! 

  7. Another benefit of the glass
    Another benefit of the glass house, no more stone throwing.

  8. All good comedy contains an
    All good comedy contains an element of truth……

  9. Very nice, Allison. I bet
    Very nice, Allison. I bet they’re pissed you came up with the idea first.

  10. But wait, isn’t that a
    But wait, isn’t that a picture of Joes house in Aspen?  
    Awesome post. Great replies.  
    Zito, While not being a requirement, isn’t it the design most likely to qualify for Platinum?

  11. Wait – to be fair, and pay
    Wait – to be fair, and pay tribute to the teachings of Henry Gifford. 
    LEED will require *predictions* of all-glass houses to qualify for platinum. 

  12. Lol. Nice Rob.  &lt
    Lol. Nice Rob. 
    Then when actual consumption comes in at 45% of modeled, LEED modeler instructs building owner to open windows and leave lights on to reach “at least 50% of modeled must be renewable” purchase goal to obtain LEED credits.

  13. someone beat me to it.Henry
    someone beat me to it.Henry Gifford would be laughfin on one side of his face and spitting out the other.I actiually know of LEED cert.buildings with loads of glass storefront.Yes you Capital One in Richmond VA.splsssssssss s

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