This week, I wrote a story in the DJC about the Sustainable Sites Initiative. The initiative has been in the works since 2002 and is geared to be a comprehensive certification similar to LEED but focused on landscape, rather than efficiency.
I spoke to Deb Guenther of Mithun about the initiative, as she's been working on it
The idea that green building certifications ignore critical development considerations is a constant complaint. Here are some of the most cited aspects of what people say green building ignores:
- The historic value of a site or building
- The value of keeping a building - and recognizing its embodied energy, rather than demolishing a structure to build a new one
- Accurately measuring how well the building works
- Indoor air quality
- Beauty and aesthetic value
(For more information on what your colleagues think is most ignored, check out my poll at right.)
But a green building certification cannot be all things to all people. And LEED has a great track record of appealing to different projects in different regions, states, climates and cities. How then, should new certifications that deal with in depth, important topics only touched on by LEED - like the Sustainable Sites Initiative - be dealt with? The initiative, by the way, will be considered in future versions of LEED, though it is unclear how it will be incorporated.
Should this initiative - and future ones like it - become a part of LEED or be developed as separate certifications?
A single certificaiton might be easier, but would force those who don't care about things like sites or historic value to consider those aspects, and would also likely raise the certification's cost.
But if new certification's aren't incorporated into LEED, they might never get off the ground or gain market value. And would developers really want to go get multiple certifications for multiple things, just to prove they have a green project?
What do you think?