dur da dur… bad title, but point is i’m finally studying for my LEED exam. LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is essentially a rating system for green buildings – it’s market based, so it’s trying to change the game slowly as the market demands. it’s been doing fairly well – green buildings are in higher and higher demand for their energy efficiency, more comfortable environments, and health benefits. LEED is currently in version 2.2, but is gearing up for a new version soon. there is now a certification for new construction, schools, homes, existing buildings, core & shell, retail, healthcare, and neighborhood development. the new version of LEED will include more regional rating components for the US – right now, it treats every building the same, tho a building for Arizona should be designed drastically differently than one in NY. developers and users are jumping on the LEED bandwagon – users b/c LEED ensures a generally more enjoyable and healthier working/living environment, and developers b/c a green building generally has lower maintenance costs and creates a market demand for the space.
though sustainable design/development is about much more than what is covered in LEED, it is a good tool to get the building industry moving in the right direction, and as time goes on, LEED will only get better w/ updated versions and revisions. i aim to take the test and be certified by the end of August.