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November 2009
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Becoming a LEED AP

Just before I left for vacation I decided to take a big leap and write my LEED AP exam for New Construction and Major Renovations. I signed up for the exam about 10days before I wrote it and spent all my free time preparing for the exam. Thanks to a very supportive bf, a knowledgeable co-worker who had taken the exam and my good friend, Golbou, who is an architect, I put all my study material together and kept my eye on the target (and really it came down to Golbou’s notes). In the end I was successful and I passed the test!

Reading the LEED manual really gets you thinking out all the small things one can do to have a more energy efficient home and office. Simple things like living or working near a grocery store and restaurants. Changing old lightbulbs to more energy conscious ones. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Bringing your own coffee mug instead of the non-recyclable, non-compostable cafeteria/Starbucks one.

The LEED manual also showed me that it is not enough. Have 5% recycled material. Reduce water consumption by 20%. Use pervious materials on 50%. What? That’s it? At a conference about a year ago a someone said that being sustainable isn’t enough, that we need to regenerative; meaning our buildings have to be carbon-neutral or better yet carbon-negative (meaning that they absorb more carbon than they produce).

LEED Canada is changing in the beginning of 2010 and I believe that the US is already there. More stringent, real changes should be part of the manuals; hopefully we are moving toward sustainable, regenerative buildings.