There is no doubt that the LEED ratings have brought the need for energy efficient buildings to the forefront. However, the system is easily exploited to get what the author of this article calls, “a shiny green stamp” for an unsustainable building. You get good points for installing bike racks (that may or may not be used) – even in places like Dubai (would any sane person be cycling to work in 45°C heat?) or Bombay (with no extra points for putting your life in danger!).
But seriously, what is damning is that there is no guarantee of a LEED accredited building actually being energy efficient in practice. Worse, once you have a certification, it’s yours for life and even if the building turns out to be an environmental disaster, the rating stays.
If you ask me, the huge amount of money spent getting the certification could be used much more effectively to install photovoltaic panels or something.