There’s a new show on HGTV, “Million Dollar Rooms”. I watched for the first and (probably) last time a few days ago. Frankly, I don’t think how much you spent on a room is an acceptable subject for conversation in polite company. However, that’s not what caused me to shout at my television.
A segment featured a 10,000 sq. ft. NYC townhouse that was… LEED certified!
For non-geeks, LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It’s a program developed by the U. S. Green Building Council and many government agencies have adopted LEED “initiatives” that make LEED standards more or less a requirement for any government buildings. It is only a matter of time until a certain level of LEED finds its way into commercial and residential building codes, where it will live on as the inflexible requirement of what was initially sold as a guideline for voluntary compliance.
You can have the best insulation system known to man. You can have the most energy efficient heating and air conditioning system ever made. You can use products that are so sustainable that they have baby products that grow up to be sustainable products for others to use. But, if you have a 10,000 square foot house for two people, you are NOT demonstrating Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and to award such a home a LEED certification is (to me) a clear indication that this program is deeply flawed.
If you’d like to build a house that demonstrates a concern for the environment, NOTHING you can do will save more of the planets resources than building small. Nothing except buying a small existing home and updating the insulation, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. If you’d like to see more environmental heresy read “It’s Confusing Being Green”. So, please, build what you want, for whatever reason you want, but don’t think you’re fooling anyone with the faux/show green stuff.