Everyone and their mother is getting LEED certified. Remember the story about Rockefeller overhearing his shoe shine boy talking about stocks? This prompted Rockefeller to conclude that the market had reached a bubble and was about to collapse. He took all his money out of the market just before it crashed.

Now I’m seeing the same thing about LEED certification. People who will probably never use the knowledge are getting certified. To be LEED certified is cooler than wearing designer clothes.

USGBC has managed to create an aura of moral integrity rarely seen in the building industry.

Whenever an entity has the moral high ground there is usually only one direction for them to go.

LEED has some serious flaws:
– the tremendous green washing that companies do around the LEED points. For example “Soy Based” spray foam, which in reality has minute percentages of soy. But you get points for using it.
– the fact that a building can be LEED certified and be LESS energy efficient than an AVERAGE normal building.
– the fact that people lie and cheat to get the points. For example I know a trash removal company who will give me a form saying they recycled my garbage if I want.

BUT and this is important, having said that I think LEED is a great step in the right direction. It has some flaws but they can be adjusted. If all houses were LEED certified I do think the building industry would be greener.

Here are some resources so your mother can pass the LEED exam:

South Face
I’ve not used them but I’m told you can register to take the course and then you can start downloading the power point presentations.

U of F
Not used it but it is a website from the University of Florida that provides excellent sample quizzes and study guides (i.e. flash cards; summary tables; and acronym information). Best of all it’s free!

LEED Education
Again not used but this website provides some free content and some that requires purchase. I have only briefly reviewed their website but it seems like a good source.

Additionally, I have heard could things about the following information that is available for purchase:

Green Exam Prep
I like these guys best over all others. This one 7 hour online course and the 8 practice test is basically all you need to pass the test IMO.

USGBC Colorado
Study Guide prepared by the Colorado Chapter of the USGBC. You can purchase it for $50 from their website. I got it. They are great. No green washing here. Very solid materials and integrity.

Not used them. But they look minorly interesting. They offer study-materials – this website is from the Cascadia Region Chapter of the USGBC. They have created flashcards that are available for purchase from their website for $35 for non members.

There are other sources for study out there but I don’t recommend them. They range from useless to absolute crap.