Making it Easier to be Green
Green design includes energy conservation, but that's not what it's all about. It's about having good air quality both indoors and outdoors, making the environments in which we work, live, study and play healthier and more comfortable and conserving all of our natural resources.
This site will provide a balanced, holistic view that includes advice about saving energy, water and other natural resources, improving indoor air quality, using environmentally responsible design and construction techniques and minimizing waste.

I will be focusing on interiors for three reasons:

  • We spend about 90% of our time indoors.
  • Buildings in the United States annually consume about 30% of our total energy and 75% of our electricity.
  • As a New York State Certified Interior Designer and a LEED Accredited Professional, I want to share my knowledge and expertise with you.
Sustainable design and construction can be done in many different styles and using a wide variety of materials. There are examples of healthy, sustainable, comfortable and inviting interiors for commercial, not-for-profit and residential clients on the web site for Interior Design Solutions.
You can use the labels on the sidebar to locate entries that you want to read. For instance, most people might want to look at the entries for "Green Homes," but "Green Finance" would be of more interest to professionals involved in the design, construction, management, financing and marketing of buildings.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The ABCs of LEED

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the gold standard for green design and construction. It is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). USGBC certifies buildings as well as individual projects within existing buildings and accredits professionals like me. To achieve certification, a project must comply with all prerequisites and accrue a certain number of points. Depending upon the number of points accrued, a project may be rated as Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

There are a number of LEED rating systems, but the basic principles are the same. The versions of LEED that most people are likely to encounter are LEED for New Construction (LEED NC), LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED CI), and LEED for Homes. The system that I believe has the widest application is LEED CI, because that is the standard used for design and construction for spaces within existing buildings.

LEED guidelines for sustainable design and construction are divided into the following categories:

• Sustainable Sites

• Water Efficiency

• Energy & Atmosphere

• Materials & Resources

• Indoor Environmental Quality

• Innovation & Design Process

USGBC also recognizes the importance of how buildings are run. LEED for Existing Buildings - Operations and Maintenance (LEED EBOM) is the standard covering ongoing operations. Things like green cleaning, non-toxic pest control, and proper training of maintenance staff may not sound as sexy as sophisticated energy management systems, but they are equally important.

The best resource for more information about LEED is USGBC. The URL below has a basic overview.

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