New Online Green Building Products Database

The USGBC and The Home Depot have partnered to generate a database of green building products at http://leed.homedepot.com/ that will contribute towards points in the LEED® for Homes rating system.  The database is currently a list of more than 2,500 products sold at The Home Depot stores and online.

The user interface is a rather simple one to use to locate products.  A dial listing product categories with a featured product will bring you to a list of all the products that could assist in LEED certification.

The database will be a good resource, for home builders, architects, designers and home owners in the material selection process of a new home or renovation projects of any size.  The only improvements I can really see that should be made to the database is how the products will assist in obtaining LEED points.  Most materials will be claimed under the Materials & Resources category, however it would be beneficial to highlight the environmentally friendly features such as Low VOC, FSC certified, or in general what makes it an Environmentally Preferred Product.

LEED Credentialing…..Its about time

As we quickly approach the last week for the current LEED AP v2.2 exam track, I say it is a long time coming.  When I first took the exam back in 2004 I was of the opinion that the more people that had their LEED AP the better.  Because ultimately it meant more people understood the issues and were on a level playing field in terms of their knowledge.

However over the past couple of years as the LEED rating system has picked up steam, my opinion of the exam has changed.  Too many people are taking the exam now and not for the right reasons.  Most people who are taking it are only taking the exam to have the LEED AP after their name.  It’s all for marketing purposes.  They don’t have any additional knowledge.  They just studied the reference manual and took the exam.  The majority of them do nothing to push the green building movement.  Heck, some of the people are not even in the design and construction industry.  Read the rest of this entry »

Path to LEED Accreditation Shifts

New rigor and some red tape come with the new AIA and LEED AP education requirements.

By Tristan Roberts via GreenSource

Image © Dan Page

Image © Dan Page

The popularity of the LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) credential, which is open to all professions, has led to the accreditation of over 77,000. By the time the current version of the program is retired later this spring, it is likely that the number of LEED APs will surpass the membership of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a fairly stable 83,000. While AIA membership is not directly comparable to holding the LEED AP credential, the momentum behind the program is remarkable.

The proliferation of LEED APs has come amid concerns about the program’s lack of rigor, so a major overhaul of the program arriving in late spring should not come as a surprise. The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), a nonprofit sister to the U.S. Green Building Council, announced its plans to assume leadership of the program at Greenbuild in November 2008. At the same time, effective January 2009, the AIA made sustainability a requirement for its continuing education (CEU) program, ensuring that all architects will need to integrate green building at least into their education, if not their practices.

Continue reading the article at GreenSource Magazine.

First LEED Platnium home in Ohio

After 3 long years of volunteer work the N. 21st Street project received a Platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) under the LEED for Homes Pilot program on February 18th, 2009.  It is the first Platinum home in Ohio and only the 17th within the country in the affordable category at the time of certification.

This project was pushed forward by some very dedicated volunteers and a very patient owner.  The house was constructed by the Home B.A.S.E. Foundation which takes high school seniors out of the class room to build homes for the working poor as part of their English, Government and Technology education programs.  Roger Beck, a technology teacher, general contractor and the foundations founding member led the charge to build central Ohio’s first affordable green home.  The Columbus Housing Partnership has been an integral part of the process.  As the owner, they provided the initial home design from their stock set of plans provided to them by Sullivan Bruck Architects (Architect of Record).

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Cleveland's Green Homes

Before moving from Cleveland in 2005, I was able to help organize what was the Emerging Green Designer’s Symposium with the Cleveland Green Building Coalition.  It was a group of young unregistered architects who had the chance to learn how to design a home in a more holistic sense utilizing green design strategies.  The first portion of the program was to learn from Jim LaRue – The House Menders, Inc., a local residential green building expert.  The second portion of the program evolved over time and gave the participants  the opportunity to use the skills they learned and design green homes.

2006 CitiRama Home

2006 CitiRama Home

With great interest from the community designs were produced to build 4 homes throughout the city of Cleveland.  The first was in 2006, which was the largest of the homes and built as a project of the Home Builders Association of Greater Cleveland for the 2006 CitiRAMA.  CitiRAMA was a project of the Home Builders Association of Greater Cleveland and the City of Cleveland, which created a showplace for residential construction in the urban core and gave the general public opportunities to view and purchase new homes in the City of Cleveland.

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