Exposing the LEED EcoScam

If you happen to pass an extraordinarily ugly new building that looks like a Lucite cube gave birth to an even uglier Lucite cube, the odds will be very good that it will be an LEED Green building. What does that four letter word mean? Nothing. Or it means that money changed hands… which is the core of all environmental activism.

LEED’s growth has been driven partly by the building council itself, a 13,000-member non-profit chiefly run by architects, builders and building suppliers. Many specialize in — and profit from — the type of design the council certifies and promotes. The council collects up to $35,000 in fees for each LEED certification.

The most popular LEED option — earned in 99.7% of the buildings — has no direct environmental benefit but generates millions of dollars for the building council by giving one point if a design team has a LEED expert. People become experts by passing a LEED course and paying $550 to $800 to a non-profit that the building council created in 2007.

The building council gets 5% of those fees — $3.3 million from 2008 through 2010, council tax records show. The council rewards the inclusion of LEED experts to encourage building designers to learn about LEED.

But the news gets even better still, as it always does, because the biggest side of the Ecoscam is on the Gov side.

More than 200 states, cities and federal agencies now require LEED certification for new public buildings, even though they have done little independent and meaningful research into LEED’s effectiveness. LEED can add millions to construction costs while promising to cut utility bills and other expenses.

Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, San Francisco, Baltimore, Washington and roughly 85 other cities go an extra step and require some private commercial buildings to follow LEED. And nearly 200 jurisdictions give LEED builders tax breaks and other incentives.

Taxpayer money is being used to bribe and bully building owners into buying into the LEED Ecoscam for the profit of those on the inside of the scam.

The federal General Services Administration (GSA), which owns and leases space in 9,600 buildings, gave crucial support in 2003 when it began requiring LEED certification for its new and substantially renovated buildings. Every federal department now follows green building practices along with 35 states

Roughly 2,000 developments, buildings and homes have received $500 million in tax breaks nationwide

And remember when Romney pointed out how much money there would be to hire new teachers if not for Obama’s Green boondoggles?

Here’s a twist you could have seen coming…

Public LEED buildings typically cost taxpayers extra. In Ohio, LEED certification for new state-funded schools has added $131 million in construction costs since 2007. “Soft costs,” such as fees to the building council and to LEED consultants, add about $150,000 to the price of a new federal building, the GSA estimates.

And guess who’s a really huge fan of LEED?

According to an article posted on Sierra Club’s Green Home website, President Obama intends to get the White House LEED certified, a recognition awarded by the United States Green Building Council for energy effiency and environmental friendliness.

  • https://www.facebook.com/vicki.dunmirecrowther Vicki Dunmire Crowther

    Although I'm in agreement with your take on the LEED scam, it would be good to mention that the actual exam is a rigorous one requiring many hours of study and OJT in order to pass. The fee for taking the LEED exam is exhorbitant but the test itself is complicated, difficult and not easy for just anyone to pass.

    • cdnbn

      Er, does the test being difficult and long make it worthwhile?
      Or, does that just give it a nice, shiny (green) patina of legitimacy?

  • riverboatbill

    LIED buildings.

  • Mary Sue

    Given all these monetary boondoggles when it comes to the green energy sector, one has to wonder if the high cost of all this garbage is deliberate on the part of the enviro-left.

  • Steve Khouw

    This is a shortsighted piece of journalism. There must be a balance between cost and benefits, people’s wellbeing when working and visiting these buildings, versus operating & maintenance cost. LEED certified building may cost more upfront in capital investment, however they bring about downstream cost savings. To be wholistic, one must consider a lifecycle payback or ROI, not just the initial cost.

    The soft cost can be mitigated, it is not compulsory to hire a LEED expert (only 1 lousy point out of 100 credits anyway) with thousands of engineers and architects already earned this credential all buildings can be designed and built by them independent of LEED Accredited Professional. Another soft cost is the hiring of a Commissioning Agent to ensure that the energy related plants & equipment are installed to run according to the specification and engineering ASHRAE standards and one would be mad not to commission prior to occupancy, think of thedownstream maintenance cost otherwise. The last soft cost is the USGBC fee, which goes toward the administration and constant improvement of the LEED program worth every dollar spent.

    In the end of the day, with our generation’s lack of commitment to address climate change resulting in more extreme weathers such as super-hurricanes to come, maybe we realised that LEED was the right step forward, after all buildings contributed to 40 percent of our global carbon footprint.

    • http://www.facebook.com/davidr.allen.92 David R Allen


      It is so pathetic – NOAA has FINALLY admitted that the average global temperature hasn't changed in SIXTEEN YEARS!! There IS NO global warming, there is NO global COOLING, there is no climate change! There is nothing but a HUGE fraud being perpetrated upon the hapless populace by people who they THOUGHT could be trusted, the scientists. It turns out the whole bunch of "climatologists" just review each other's papers (oh, yes – gotta have those peer-reviewed findings!) to make sure they adhere to the eco-fascist dogma! Anybody who disagrees gets shut out for tenure and grants. I've seen the leaked East Anglia computer source code – the data is being manipulated to bring about the desired result(s) – it's FRAUD!!

      I think once the Obama regime has been removed from power, the new Romney administration should follow the lead of the Italian government, and start imprisoning these "scientists" for fraud and grand larceny.

  • DrivenbyLogic

    Shock jounalism at it's worst – http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2012/11/01/

  • Xu Zu


    That article is written by Rick Fedrizzi, president; U.S. Green Building Council. It has as much credibility as an article by Larry Flint on the merits of porn.