Much of what we designing our semester around is encouraging buildings to “Go Green”. Going green is a pretty broad term because there are numerous ways to become more environmentally friendly. For example conserving energy, little water usage, encouraging bicycling to work, etc. However, there needed to be a way to judge the amount each building is “green”. This is where LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) comes in. LEED is an official certification that a building can achieve in order to demonstrate its commitment to helping the environment.
There are several types of LEED certification, depending on which type of building is being done. For example new construction certification, or neighborhood, school, or renovation. Each has unique characteristics that are specific to that construction. LEED has been a great step into recognizing those who make an effort to go “green”.
Unfortunately one thing that we noticed was that there are no points awarded to those who make an effort to lower the number of bird strikes on their building. This can be done by turning off lights at night during bird migration season or choosing bird friendly materials. As part of our design group we are hoping to come up with some criteria to be added to the LEED rating system that includes points to help migrating birds. Hopefully, by doing this the Lights Out Indy initiative will become more recognized and their mission will be more received.
Additionally, this upcoming Thursday there will be an event on Butler’s campus where we plan to discuss the future of ecological design in a post-carbon economy. Bob Berkebile, a principal at BNIM Architects, will be speaking. He is a founding member of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and helped develop the LEED rating system. There will be other speakers as well including urban planners and architects. This is open to the public in Clowes Hall. Hopefully after attending this project we can have a lot of our questions answered and questions we haven’t thought about addressed. This event will prove to be a valuable resource for the Design Group.
– C. Siegel