I don't like the focus that LEED places on 'social engineering’ issues. Does having a bike rack (1 pt) really help the environment? And how is it that a LEED certified building does not mean that it out-performs an average building? Many don’t.
Humans are driven by economics. The focus should be on that. "How do you get a building that is cheaper to operate?" Everybody gets that. Everybody wants that. Except for the strip mall owner who isn't paying the utility bill. I predict that USGBC will marginalize themselves with their ’feel good’ political correctness.
The sheer complexity of sustainability keeps most people in the dark about how it all works. For instance, super-insulating a large office building is not helping. Large office buildings are air-conditioned whenever they are occupied because the people, lights and fresh air requirements dwarf the heat loss and the heat gain through the skin of the building.
Instead of getting a ’star’ on your LEED ’homework’, which means you may have met some level of trying to be a good person, why not use a checklist that says if you do these things you get these benefits? And leaving energy issues in the hands of the building designers is a bad idea. The people occupying the building have a major impact on energy use - light levels, coffee brewing/warming, space heaters, computers, etc.
Before LEED was a thing, there were lists like the No-Brainer list here. You didn't get a star but you got guidance that was useful - to everyone.
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