Ottawa city council has sent a motion back to committee that would have stopped the automatic application for a LEED certification for new building stock.

Some councillors questioned the move after LEED, Canada's certifier of green construction said the city was heading in the wrong direction.

LEED, which stands for leadership in environment and design, is an industry-accepted certification. But there are currently 14 LEED applications in backlog, including one for the Shenkman Arts Centre, which opened four years ago, according to the environment committee.

Three councillors who are environment committee members, David Chernushenko, Diane Holmes and committee chairwoman Maria McRae, all told council they wanted the motion back for more debate.

Not enough debate, committee members say

They told city council there was not enough debate before the vote on Jan. 18.

Chernushenko had said he hoped the committee's original decision would send a message to LEED to create a "faster, more streamlined process" that costs less for taxpayers.

But Thomas Mueller, president of the Canada Green Building Council — the agency that looks after green certification — argued the backlog is not as bad as councillors described.

According to Mueller, two of the projects have already been certified, five await more documentation from the city, two were submitted within the past month and five have yet to be submitted.

The environment committee will further debate the issue at its next meeting on Feb. 19.