Over the break I have really had time to relax and do some casual reading. The design group plans on deriving a regional LEED point on using bird friendly design techniques. I have spent quite a bit of time on the LEED website (http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19) and have had a difficult time navigating and understanding some of the information. For example regional credits are broken down per state, then per zip code, then to a number on an excel spreadsheet. There is no information about what the numbers mean or where to find out what the numbers mean. This is just a personal frustration…
However, there are many other problems with the website. If I weren’t taking this class and had a general understanding about what LEED and the USGBC are I think it could be difficult to understand what they are based on the information provided on the website. I’m sure it is an invaluable resource to those who know what the information is and where to access it, but to those who don’t it is a completely different story. I think more attention should be paid to making a more public-friendly website with more basic information and how to get involved. For example, architects and building contractors who aren’t familiar with the LEED initiatives have a difficult understanding the incentive or understanding the regional LEED credits.
Perhaps mapping out a new website could be a concept for a future practicum project. I’m fairly confident if you poll America an overwhelming majority of citizens would not have heard of the LEED initiative and even less could understand what it is. A great effort is needed in educating the public in these areas…hopefully our effort will be effective in creating awareness for other programs as well as help LOI.