The Green Building Council's LEED program has taken the U.S. construction sector by storm, but critics say the system is fundamentally flawed. By basing certification on projected energy savings rather than actual energy use, they say, LEED lets companies claim credit for savings that are never actually realized. "LEED certification has never depended on actual energy use, and it's not going to," says energy-efficiency expert Henry Gifford. "You can use as much energy as you want and report it and keep your plaque."

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