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I find the implication from Mr. Nobel's quote that green building should be somehow 'marginal' offensive. I look forward to a time when it is taken for granted that architects should strive for energy efficiency and use of materials that have less impact on the environment in much the same way that we currently assume a building needs electric lights. It is natural, if sometimes unseemly, that people should seek recognition and accolades, deserved or undeserved, for their work. If he doesn't want to hear about it he should find a different profession.

That said, I can understand where he's coming from. The idea that we can save the planet through consumption is laughable. Driving a hybrid car still uses more resources than taking the bus or riding a bike.


people have to pay money to get that LEED certification. there are plenty of green buildings which aren't labeled LEED simply because certification wasn't factored into the budget. in that sense, being certified falls within being justly boastful and having the means to boast.
i agree with brian that the point system is too static and does not allow much room for interpretation. i actually see the LEED system as a stepping stone which will soon become outdated and subservient to a more holistic approach to green building; one which does not conflict with other systems like the secretary of the interior's standards for rehabilitation.


As a 2nd year architecture student, I found your post to be eye-opening and thought provoking. Only being a sophomore in school, I always hear about sustainability and LEED but never realized how these factors affected real design. As a designer myself, I would have to admit that if I knowingly made efforts to follow LEED standards, I too would want to be rewarded with praise for my accomplishment. But after reeding this post, I take a step back to see that it is not about me or my design, but how the building will exist and affect the planet.

I agree that the spaces in "green buildings" are much nicer than spaces filled with artificial lighting. I am only a beginner in this field but I find it fascinating the way architects can create green design in interesting ways. I know that sustainability will continue to be a pressing issue in architecture and design. I also know that forward thinking architects will be able to find ways to make green buildings in other ways outside of the LEED points. Hopefully LEED will be able to change their standards in order to accommodate all green buildings.

There is one building that I have come across by Tom Mayne that falls into this category. His new Federal Building utilizes new technologies to create efficient energy design. It has won several awards already but LEED's point system currently cannot account for the systems in place in the Federal Building. I wonder if LEED is making any efforts to address this issue because I am sure in the future many other buildings will follow in suit.

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