Feds Spent Millions On ‘Green’ Buildings That Are ‘Prone’ To Flooding

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Robert Schmad Contributor
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The government spent millions subsidizing hundreds of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified (LEED) “green” buildings that are vulnerable to flooding and may need to be extensively repaired or abandoned in the future, Politico reported.

The First Street Foundation, a nonprofit research group, and E&E News identified 830 LEED-certified buildings built in the past decade that are at “extreme risk of flooding,” according to Politico. Tens of millions of tax dollars have subsidized the construction of such buildings, several experts told E&E news, according to the report.

“It’s a contradiction to call something sustainable if it’s also prone to hazards like flood,” Samuel Brody, Texas A&M University’s Institute for a Disaster Resilient Texas director, said, according to Politico. He also stressed the “importance of not just being energy efficient but being resilient to these disturbances like floods.”

LEED is a rating system that scores buildings based on how environmentally friendly they are, according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s website. (RELATED: Report: DC’s green-approved buildings using more energy)

Hundreds of LEED-certified buildings have been flooded since 2000, with 179 in Texas, alone, according to Politico.

“Resilience hasn’t really been a significant part of the LEED program since its inception,” Alex Wilson, who was involved with the launch of LEED, said, according to Politico.

A U.S. Green Building Council spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the report “outlines the real challenges that the built environment is facing in a rapidly changing climate.” The spokesperson claimed that “flooding is just one risk that factors into resiliency planning” and that “communities face multiple threats like extreme heat, fires, and storms.”

“While it does include location-based criteria, LEED is not designed to dictate where construction should or shouldn’t occur, especially in well-established cities and communities,” the spokesperson continued.

More than 350 state and local governments either require their buildings to be LEED-certified or subsidize the construction of LEED-certified buildings, according to Politico. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which manages 688 federal buildings in the D.C. metropolitan area, also requires new buildings and substantial renovations to be LEED certified, according to its website.

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