Evaluation of LEED Using Life Cycle Assessment Methods
Nationally and globally, commercial buildings contribute significantly to energyconsumption, as well as to other environmental impacts, such as air emissions and solid waste generation. For example, 38% of US primary energy consumption is related to building operations  [Table 2.1a], and 65% of all 1997 Municipal Solid Waste , . Buildings are an exceedingly complex industrial product with a lifetime of decades. Emerging health issues related to the environmental impacts from buildings, such as the so-called "sick building" syndrome, have intensified awareness of the role buildings play on our environmental well-being. While certain efforts have been on-going to control and manage individual aspects of the environmental qualities of buildings (i.e. energy codes, automation and control schemes, thermal comfort), comprehensive approaches have been lacking, ,  particularly in the design stages of a building's life span. Unfortunately it is in the design stage when the greatest opportunities are available to affect changes whose benefits can last for decades. In the last decade new methods have emerged that regard buildings as a network of interrelated environmental impacts and seek to juggle these impacts to create a more integrated and environmentally benign building , .