The Lighter Side of LEED

The Helios House gas station in Los Angeles was the first gas station in the U.S. to be submitted for LEED certification. (Photo: Brandon Baunach [CC by 2.0]/Flickr)

I love writing about LEED certified buildings. Some of the buildings that I have researched have implemented some rather unique green ideas. Alex Felsinger of the Green Building Elements website takes a different approach to green building research and looks at the lighter side of LEED certification in his article The 10 Dumbest Green Buildings on Earth. I chuckled and nodded my head as I read his article and wanted to share it with the readers here at the Mother Nature Network.

A gas station tops Felsinger’s list. When hearing of a LEED certified gas station, one will likely think of alternative fuel but as Felsinger points out, not this one. The BP Helios House Gas Station in Los Angeles, Calif., was the first LEED certified gas station in the world.

“Alongside the functionality of the station, and the various offers available at Helios House which make it stand out from the crowd, site employees — dubbed ‘the green team’ — continually offer a variety of tips to motorists on how to decrease their own impact on the environment.” Source: BP (PDF)

The examples given include suggesting that customers use energy efficient lightbulbs. What about encouraging customers to drive a hybrid or use an alternative fuel vehicle? Evidently, BP is still focused on its bottom dollar as the article also mentions that this LEED certification brought in the equivalent of $1.5 million in advertising from media attention.

Other items that made Felsinger’s list include a golf course lodge and a giant single family home in Mumbai, India. The article is punchy and definitely takes a look at the lighter side of LEED.