Unintended consequences invariably accompany regulations and standards. This study examined whether the LEED rating system creates any negative inadvertent environmental effects and, if so, what they are. In effect, can doing something that is not sustainable ever help a project get a higher score? The research tool consisted of semi-structured interviews with construction management personnel responsible for the LEED aspects of projects. The study looked at specific LEED certified projects around the southeastern United States. These interviews gathered project specific information about the company responsible for building, the interviewee’s experience and views, and the general project. Most importantly, the interviews collected data on any instances of negative unintended environmental effects. Of the 16 projects considered, two included cases of unintended effects. Both cases resulted from situations in which the project location made the otherwise beneficial LEED requirement inappropriate. The study recommends ways to help prevent other similar instances of negative unintended effects. Ultimately, sustainability is best advanced by using LEED certification as an aid not an objective in the journey towards environmentally friendly buildings.