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Leed Certification: How "Green" Are The Buildings?

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Developers of the greenest of green buildings can boast they're 'leed' certified.  And leed, otherwise known as leadership in energy and environmental design is the new standard.

Gabriel kroiz teaches architecture and runs his own company. "Leed is a vehicle for moving the technology forward," Gabriel Kroiz said.  

And a generator of generous tax breaks -- developers of this office tower reaped one-point-six million dollars.    Sure parking spots for hybrid cars, an electric car charger and lock-up bike racks helped its grade.   "But the lions share of rating points for that building came from taking energy conservation to another level. A point system is used to calculate the green rating," says Kristine Frazao.  

"Despite  all these innovative practices it doesn't really pay for a lot of thise buildings," Luke Rosiak said.   Luke Rosiak, an investigative reporter with the Washington Examiner, measured the energy efficiency of leed buildings in New York City.    He found office buildings with leed certification no more energy efficient than buildings built decades ago.  In fact, Rosiak says in many cases, the new buildings emitted far more greenhouse gas per square foot and carbon dioxide...Leaving behind a larger carbon footprint -- exactly what the program is trying to reduce.    "In a lot of ways this has become 'green-washing' where this is a marketing tool," Rosiak said.  

Its not only office buildings that are boasting of leed certification -- we found a gas station that also earned the mark of distinction.   Still Kroiz, the architect,  believes the program does more good than harm -- but he admits...  "Leed makes it complicated," said Kroiz.   I'm Kristine Frazao reporting.   For more information, click here.  

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