Class of



This Article explores the constitutionality of green building laws that require developers to comply with the sustainable construction rating system promulgated by the United States Green Building Council ("USGBC"), a private, non-governmental interest group. The Article reviews how the USGBC creates the standards for its rating system and then modifies these standards without gaining approval from any governmental body, thereby changing the legal rules with which private citizens and constructors must comply. The Article argues that, because the USGBC can unilaterally change the law, many green building policies undermine political accountability and violate the doctrine of nondelegation. The Article concludes by proposing several ways that governments can enact green building policies without unconstitutionally delegating legislative power or circumventing principles of democratic governance.

Document Type


Publication Information

4 Legislation & Policy Brief 159-174 (2011)