Letters to the Editor

Voice needs more research on environmental rating

September 13, 2007

Will Sommer must be joking in his recent article slamming Georgetown’s new science building (“Building blues,” News, September 6). That the University would pursue a LEED rating is commendable on its own, and the fact that this building will be certfied LEED Silver makes the project all the more deserving of our support. Had Sommer performed even the bare-minimum of research expected of anyone publishing a piece in any publication, he would have realized that not only does LEED have a rating lower than “Silver” (the “Certified” rating), but also that achieving any LEED rating certifies a building as a leading example of environmentally sound architecture.

Using the same minimum standard of research, Sommer would have found that only 20 existing buildings in the District are currently LEED certified, and less than half of these (eight) are certified at a level higher than “Silver” (“Gold” or “Platinum”). Moreover, out of currently registered LEED projects in Washington, only five are higher education projects (all of these are “Silver”); Georgetown’s new science building and new McDonough School of Business building are two of these five.

Will Sommer and the Voice staff are not only flat-out wrong factually in this article, but they are doing a disservice to Georgetown University, its students and its alumni. Instead of being derided on false grounds, Georgetown should be praised for taking the lead in environmental stewardship both among D.C. universities and in District architecture as a whole.


Berry Kurland (SFS ‘06)

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