LEED, what is it good for?

After this weeks reading and video I have been pondering this week what are we really getting from LEED certification and is it really worth all the time and money that we pour into the certification of the people as well as the buildings they are helping design? Throughout all of our classes at Oklahoma State going green and LEED certification have been priority number one as interior designers. But honestly I just don’t really see how we can implement more of this into our designs. Most clients want cheap and quick turnover projects and LEED certified projects are neither. My realization this week was that if we are trying to help the earth then why should we be punished my having to pay for certifying a LEED building? Like we discussed in class I think it should be based on incintive and they should be rewarded for design projects that are geared toward a more sustainable way of thinking and sustainable future. LEED programs are great in theory but in implementation are just overly costly and way to time consuming as mentioned previously. If there were a way to speed up the processes and calculate these “points” they award in a different way I think that it would be extremely useful.

That was another aspect from the video I just didn’t understand, was LEED points. As interior designers we are told time and time again that we are not “decorators” but designers, however the elements that gain LEED points tend to lean more toward the direction of “surface level” designing in my eyes. Like bamboo floors for example, anyone could tell you that those are a more eco-friendly hardwood and yet those tend to be the only flooring that people are using for these “greener” office spaces or residences. My question again is why aren’t they looking into products closer to home? Products that may not necessarily be thought of as green and putting a new spin on the word and looking locally. Making people aware of products and how LEED can in fact help our society leap towards a more sustainable lifestyle is going to be the benefit of it all.

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