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Green GradesCan Information Save the Earth?$
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Graham Bullock

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036429

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036429.001.0001

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Measuring Green: The Generation of the Information

Measuring Green: The Generation of the Information

(p.103) 4 Measuring Green: The Generation of the Information
Green Grades

Graham Bullock

The MIT Press

Chapter 4 uses the differences between LEED, Green Globes, the Living Building Challenge, and ENERGY STAR to highlight the methodological issues associated with information-based governance. The chapter introduces the concepts of replicability, reliability, and validity, and applies them in an analysis of the transparency and quality of the data and methods used in existing information-based initiatives. The importance of life cycle approaches to developing valid environmental information about products and companies is also discussed. With a few important exceptions, data from 245 cases of these initiatives demonstrates their general lack of methodological transparency and validity, and highlight the challenges associated with developing robust metrics of sustainability. The chapter discusses several important tradeoffs between different dimensions of validity, and suggests several strategies for managing these tradeoffs. It also identifies the most promising and problematic information generation practices found in the database and the lessons learned from these examples.

Keywords:   Buildings, ENERGY STAR, LEED, Validity, Reliability, Transparency, Life Cycle Analysis, Academia

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