LEED'S

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Any of you guys have experience with this? It seems to be the lastest fad. From what I see, it is meaningless, cost the owner more money, and they get nothing out of it. We've had a couple of RFP's asking about it, but can't figure out why it's becoming popular except for the 'warm fuzzy' from the tree huggers.
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P.Fritz wrote:

Not much experience with it... and claims are made that it's only 2-3% more for a LEED certified construction with 20% savings in long term building costs.
If you ask me, it's a bunch of bunk.
HOWEVER, if you can become good at playing the game, there's a bunch of money to be made...
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I agree....from what I have seen. It all of a suddened just appeared on the radar screen....... I really question it's agenda.

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P.Fritz wrote:

lastest fad.

they get

can't
the
I've had some minor experience with it in the last year. I had a client that wanted to do the first Silver rated hotel in the US, primarily for public relations. This client sent me to the Green Building conference in Pittsburgh to get a little knowledge. I think the approach may have been started by 'tree huggers' years ago, but I think it's become a much larger thing now. It seems to really be a way to change the construction industry as a whole so that sustainable design becomes affordable and technically feasible for everyone. With all things being equal wouldn't you rather use a material or system that's less intrusive to the enviroment? Again, I'm a relative newbie on this subject, so I'm sure someone reading this has more experience to this.

-define "green building" by establishing a common standard of measurement -promote integrated, whole-building design practices -recognize environmental leadership in the building industry -stimulate green competition -raise consumer awareness of green building benefits -transform the building market
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I just went to a series of seminars sponsored by the wood industries.....seems LEEDs looks down on wood.....which is the ultimate renewable resource.....(does a lot less long term damage than strip mining for iron ore) So I am wondering how agenda driven it is.

Who's doing the defining? Where is the proven benefit?.........what is the worth of the 'certificate'? why does one get 'points' by simply using a 'certified designer'?

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ultimate
mining
I can't answer that one, I need to ask some friends that are LEEDs certified, maybe they could answer it. Those are good questions.

is the

using a

If you're interested in the subject you should go to their site I think they answer many of these questions: http://www.usgbc.org /
I wouldn't merely dismiss it out of hand, because I think that it was started with the best of intentions: how can sustainable design be achieved just as easily as standard design/construction?
I do know LEEDs covers a very wide range of subjects, not just slapping a PV array on top of the building and calling it a day or using recycled rubber as tiles. The approach I heard is to create an integrated whole building approach which doesn't cause some major outpouring of capital to create. Everything from materials that are manufactered in an enviro-friendly way (that still have the look and performance of any other material), to things like doing wind-tunnel testing to reduce the amount of structure used in a building, to more energy conserving HVAC systems. I'm just scratching the surface. Generally I think the approach is to think in the long-term and not just the quick return (always an issue with developers). Some of the systems they recommend might not give that return for 10-20 years, but eventually it shows up.
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I guess the first thing that caught my attention was the awarding of points for having a 'certified designer' that has nothing to do with the building.....seems to me more of an agenda thing.

We did some looking when we first saw it pop up in the RFP's

So was the EPA, and the endangered species act, now look what they are like.
The road to hell is paveed with 'good intentions' :-(

That is one of my problems with it. a 10-20 year payback is not justified economically, hell we are looking at one project where it will be cheaper to tear down an existing 150,000 s.f. building and build a new 250,000 than it will be to try and renovate and add. Things change so quickly that a 20 year payback isn't even in the picture.....sad as that may be.

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P.Fritz wrote:

strip
points
Once something starts getting big, people want to get involved to 'organize' it. I sure there are some hidden agendas(as with everything), but there are still some extremely useful things within their point system. A lot of research has gone into it. It is still Voluntary, so you can always cherry-pick from it.

benefit?.........what
think
was
they are

Well we know why that happened (The 'G' word). Unfortunately they are involved in this issue as well.

slapping
are
and
wind-tunnel
more
the
but
justified
cheaper
250,000 than

that a 20

I think that is the case for many projects. When I was going through this last year with my client we literally went throught the checklist to see which items they felt they could and couldn't do. Since they were the private owner and weren't going to sell the project they were willing to wait for some of the long-term benefits. It's a much tougher sell to other clients. The more this stuff comes into the marketplace the easier it will be to get some short-term returns, which I think is the ultimate goal.
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http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/news/2005/March/03-24-05b.asp
Isn't one reason for this due to taxes and depreciation? There's government again.

And ADA? And other codes?

How long before you figure they don't get that choice? If the stuff on the LEED (R) checklist (TM) is a "good idea" like, oh say, seat belts or smoking...

From which we can infer that the goal of doing all this "sustainability" crap for "all else being equal" and such being tied in to "good intentions" is so far - a load of bull. This makes it all the more reason for it to be required.
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Partly, most of my clients are developers that build, lease and then flip the building to a deep pocket pension fund or the like. (once the drop in the capital gains tax kicks in - damn guvmint)

More like changing uses and needs,
A typicla example is schools.........schools build in the 20's-50's were built to last well over a hundred years, so many are have been torn down around here because they no long function in today's evolved educational process (and changing demographics) As a result, those 'forward thinking' individuals wasted a lot of money and resources because they could not grasp what the future would hold....(hell, one elementary school had a environmental problem because of all the lead from the shooting range that was in the basement....guns in schools these days? ) ...I think the same thing WRT LEED.

My fear as well.
It seems to be this rising tide like every other architectural fad of the last 1/2 century

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But right there, in defining "the best of intentions" you already accept their root tenet "sustainable design". What if we already dismiss the current thrust of general "sustainable design"? Would it not be fair to dismiss this particular set of well marketted sustainability consultants out of hand?

At tear down time.
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gruhn wrote:

was
accept
Isn't "sustainable design" it just a new catchphrase on an old approach? I've always felt it meant designing in concert ecology, rather than in opposition. Isn't that what the majority of construction has been throughout time up until the Industrial Revolution? I realize the term can be hijacked by some for personal agendas, but does that make the term invalid?
What if we already dismiss the

to
consultants out

We? As in those who are against sustainable design? Are you in oppostion for the fact that some of those well marketted consultants might make money from it? Does that really make something invalid? Are you opposed because of the government's involvment? Or is it the bigger picture that the whole notion of sustainable design is a bunch of crap? All of the above? Just curious.

but
Depends on the building type. Stripcenter-Yes, Office Building-doubtful.
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Wait, what are you talking about? "We decided"?! _MY_ best interest? How do you know what my best interest is? How could you say what my best interest is?
- Suicidal Tendancies "Institutionalized"

.org's aren't anything. They are MEANT to be something, but there's no guarantee what's behind an org. Aside from the fact that they've got $10 a year.
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If you had read any of the buzzword bingo and self congratulatory self promotion on their web site, you'd have a much better idea.

I note Cato's post quotes:
"recognize environmental leadership in the building industry"
I wonder (strongly suspect) that this means "give certificates to people who follow our checklist". But that wouldn't really be "recognizing leadership" so maybe I'm "wrong".

Because you give them money to get certified.
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That and $1.50 may get the building owner a cup of coffee.

you've confirmed my suspicions :-)

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gruhn wrote:

As a student of architecture, the LEEDs requirements are pressed on us, but moreso the simple idea of <buzzword>"Green Design"</buzzword>. For those of you who already have their licenses, if you value sustainable design, or the money from clients who do, you're going to design like that, and if you don't, you won't. For those of us still in school, it gets pounded into our heads anyway, so thinking of how many spotted owls go and bitch to their senators when a tree gets chopped down becomes natural.
This all makes "LEEDs Certification" a bunch of major BS. I believe in green design. However, wrapping green with a bunch of red tape will only turn "design for the benifit of your children and the planet" into "design for the benifit of a checkbox". And then you cut corners to get around it as quickly and painlessly as possible, circumventing the whole idea to begin with.
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Besides that.......who gets to define 'intrusive' Is a high rise, dense urban concrete jungle more intrusive than the same sf spread over one story structures with 50% green space for miles and miles? It all 'depends' on who's ox is getting gored.

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Don wrote:

system
defined or

If you're going to dissect my sentence then let me put it this way.
Two materials available for the same use. The difference is that one of these materials was created by recycling some other material. The cost is the same, the look is the same, and the performance is the same. The only difference: one doesn't require as many natural resources to create it but rather uses pre-used resources. Which one would you use? Does it not matter either way? I wasn't implying a blanket policy, just that does this approach have a underlying value to make you want to select it over the other material? IMHO it does.
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