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LEED: the ticket to a greener career


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Government green included, of course.

Can you answer the following questions correctly (take a guess if you like, I did)?

1. Which two of the following are considered sources of potable water in LEED? (Choose two.)

  • A. irrigation wells
  • B. captured rain water
  • C. municipal water system
  • D. municipally supplied reclaimed waste water

2. For a 200-occupant, all-residential condominium, the architect's plan indicates the use of bicycle racks that hold 10 bicycles inside the parking structure. What must the architect do to comply with SS Credit 4.2, Alternative Transportation: Bicycle Storage & Changing Rooms?

  • A. replace the bicycle racks with bicycle lockers
  • B. increase the number of bicycle racks to hold 30 bicycles
  • C. provide two shower/changing rooms in the parking structure, one for each gender
  • D. confirm that the bicycle storage location is within 200 yards of the building entrance

(correct answers are: 1 = A,C; 2 = B) (source: Green Building Certification Institute)

If you answered both correctly, you are well on your way to LEED accreditation and likely first dibs on a green career.

Here's how Wikipedia defines LEED: The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction.

According to the USGBC (a corporatist entity), "Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) have demonstrated a thorough understanding of green building practices and principles and the LEED Rating System."

I suspect that at some point, LEED accreditation will be required for all professionals working on building projects — certainly for government projects anyway. The city school district of Columbus, Ohio, recently adopted the LEED standards. Sure, going green is expensive — adding almost 10% to the cost of a building, but according to Columbus schools facilities executive Carole Olshavsky,"That's an insignificant cost if you look beyond the immediate building. If you look at the global impact, that's negligible."

Yes, simply wave away short-term costs with the promise of a global benefit.

Hey, if you can identify potable water and count bike racks, this gig is yours!

Jim Fedako, a business analyst and homeschooling father of seven, lives in the wilds of suburban Columbus. Send him mail.

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