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Extra resources for [Magazine] Environmental Design + Construction. Vol. 14. Issue 10
By Helen Goodland lacing special emphasis on the use of local materials is a popular approach to reducing the environmental impacts of construction projects. Sourcing materials within 500 miles of the site is a fairly straightforward way to earn one to two points under the Regional Materials credit in the LEED rating system (see sidebar). However, the reality may be more complex, and it may not be safe to assume that the pursuit of this credit will reduce the environmental impact of your project.
Personally, I have a bachelor’s of science in building science, earned as part of an accredited architecture degree. So, why do architects need energy models to validate our ability to design high-performance, energy-optimized buildings? Because the codes are about to require it. Are we ready for simulation tools to provide a constructive critique of our ability to do “good” design and high energy performance? I would argue we need it more than ever. After all, as buildings increase in design complexity, their energy use also becomes more complex and may become even more counterintuitive, making the most cost-effective, energy-efficient building strategies much harder to understand and quantify in terms of best value for our clients.
As the market matures, there will be more opportunity for FSC 100%, but that is not the reality today. USGBC is at a crossroads. Created with strong support from environmental groups and design leaders, USGBC has grown into an organization with global impact that shapes billions of dollars of investment. As a large organization itself, NWF understands well the challenges of growth. Yet to grow gracefully, commitment to mission and guiding principles must always remain front and center. And in the case of the LEED 2012 update, it seems the USGBC may have stepped off this path.
[Magazine] Environmental Design + Construction. Vol. 14. Issue 10