Green Building - Free LEED Certification Training and Preparation

January 22, 2009

The pillars of green building - sustainability, efficiency, community stewardship and health/safety - have long been familiar themes with developers, builders and consumers. Since the 1970s, as part of the initial, modern environmental movement in the United States, there developed a fringe of green builders pursuing new concepts and ways of thinking that manifested in everything from household water re-use systems to smallscale solar power generation to geodesic domes. During the 1980s and 1990s, green building products and concepts moved inward from the fringe to become amenities and options that, everything else being equal, might help to close the deal on a new home or commercial structure. What is different now is that for a growing percentage of building buyers, occupants and do-it-yourselfers, issues such as energy efficiency, indoor air quality, sustainability and even more abstract measures of environmental impact no longer represent minor components of the decision process but instead are now increasingly found at the core of preferences for homes and buildings.

There are a number of factors contributing to the growth and increasing sophistication of the green building marketplace. First, technical and engineering professionals have gradually gained a much greater appreciation and set of tools for identifying and evaluating the often complex issues surrounding whole building efficiency and sustainability. Whereas buildings have long been little more than the sum of their various parts, green building engineers and builders increasingly view buildings from a holistic perspective that attempts to account for the full life cycle of a building and its various

components. Related to this point is the fact that component manufacturers are increasingly being drawn up the green ladder as they design and sell their products to meet increasingly green demand. Just 10 years ago, manufacturers of HVAC equipment paid little attention to issues of total building management. Today, they are investing in whole building modeling tools and they are interacting more closely with engineers and architects who do more “integration” than mere “specification.”

Perhaps the greatest innovations largely lacking in previous decades and now major drivers of the green building market are mechanisms for systematizing and sharing green building concepts and standards. Organizations and programs such as the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the Energy Star program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, Green Globes, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (FSI), GreenGuard and others are all attempting to organize the concepts of green building and materials in ways that will allow the emerging market to move forward in a coherent fashion. There has been, and will continue to be, disagreement over goals, tactics, standards and definitions, but the process of sorting out these issues is fueling and informing a new way of doing business in the design and construction industry.

Free LEED AP exam resources. Special offer for 12 full length practice exams. For new construction NC v2.2 based on LEED New Construction v2.2 Reference Guide Third Edition published by (USGBC).

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