Saturday, October 10, 2009

A little LEED

Because our building is Platinum LEED certified, the management decided it's a good idea for us to learn what that actually means. So for the next five Thursdays we'll be getting up the crack of dawn to sit in on a 7:30 LEED course. What fun.
It's actually really interesting, though, learning the process that buildings go through to get certified, and what kind of requirements it takes. The levels are Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, so ours is the best! Yes.... It also rocks for us, because utility bills are estimated to be about $7-10. Score.

To get a building LEED certified, you have to get a certain amount of credits, out of 100. There are all sorts of things you can do that will give you credits. For example, locating the building within 1/4 mile of 2 bus lines gives you one credit. Installing bicycle storage and changing rooms gives you another credit. Painting your roof white reduces the heat of the building, so that gives you another one. If you put plants on the roof to soak up rainwater (so it doesn't overflow the sewers), that gives you more.

To get Platinum Certified, a building needs at least 80 credits, all little things adding up to one big eco-friendly building. Hooray!

In the Indigo, the native plants on the roof hold rainwater, then we harvest that and actually use it to flush the toilets in the offices downstairs. There's a sign on the toilets that says: "Rainwater. Do Not Drink." Thanks, I'll remember that the next time I'm dipping my water bottle in a toilet...

So far I've been to two sessions of the course. Some people can use the information to take the LEED Green Associates Exam, but that seems like a whole lot of work for something that might not actually help me lease apartments. So for now, I'll just soak up some information and enjoy.
And maybe get a little greener in the process...

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