This past week, we split into learning communities and researched a multitude of third-party accreditation organizations. The “green” label organization my community researched was Cradle to Cradle, which is an all-encompassing, holistic rating system for built environments.
As an interior designer, of course I am familiar with LEED with it being the most utilized and well-known sustainabimity certification in the US, but it was great to be able to research other systems, as well. Cradle to Cradle is actually a component of LEED or can be used for points toward a LEED project.
Essentially, C2C (cradle to cradle) assigns points and weights to varying categories across multiple cross-categories, so that a more accurate and holistic value is represented by the score after evaluation. This method of certification seems, to me, to be the best way to accurately score a building, because there are just so many factors that pay a role such as material sourcing, indoor air quality, and location. Just by researching how C2C scores a project is educational and can create awareness about just how many parts of the building process have an effect on the environment and sociology.
One thing I found to be the most interesting, though, is just how many certifiers there are. It seems that it might be more beneficial to have one large organization to take care of all of the certifications just for the sake of branding and awareness. Brands are easily recognizable and if there was one power-house of a certifier with a strong brand, more awareness could be generated about building sustainably.
From a professional standpoint, I really enjoyed these lectures because it’s great to know what kinds of processes I might have to go through in my career, if I am a designer on a project with a client who wants a green building.